Door County Land Trust has announced the donation of a perpetual conservation easement on 20 acres in the Town of Gardner in southern Door County.
Brothers Erich and Peter Schmidtke donated the easement to help maintain the rural character of the Gardner area by preserving open space, fish and wildlife habitats, and water quality. The Schmidtke family has owned the property since 1995. It contains two large, open meadows, which were used for agriculture prior to the family’s ownership and have now been restored with native tree and shrub species.
The Schmidtkes purchased the property and enrolled in the DNR’s Managed Forest Law Program, which will continue under the conservation easement. The property serves as a migratory stopover point, and the brothers have witnessed massive monarch migrations overnighting on pine trees which, Erich Schmidtke said, happens annually.
Located within the Sugar Creek-Frontal Green Bay Watershed, the property is on the edge of the Niagara escarpment and fewer than 325 feet from the Bay of Green Bay. A stream meanders through the property, which is lined with an assortment of towering trees, primarily sugar maple and white pine. Wisconsin DNR biologists think the stream likely serves as spawning and rearing habitat for a variety of fish species commonly found in Green Bay.