New Land Trust Acquisition Protects Water Quality, Wildlife

A new Door County Land Trust property close to the organization’s Three Springs Nature Preserve in Sister Bay provides added insurance for maintaining water quality in the Town of Liberty Grove. 

The property includes groundwater springs that are part of the headwaters of Three Springs. Three Springs drains into North Bay, which eventually flows into Lake Michigan. 

“This land’s ecological significance is high,” said Land Program Director Jesse Koyen. “Protection of this property furthers the Land Trust’s goal of protecting water quality throughout Door County.” 

Ingrid Lawrenz, who grew up on the property, was interested in selling only to the Land Trust due to the abundance of species the land holds. “I’m very protective of it,” she said. “Every spring I go into the woods and it’s full of wildflowers. In the woods, a spring bubbles up where we caught so many fish – it’s amazing. There’s also an increased population of fishers, gray and red foxes, and racoons. Cougars and bears have also come through.”

The 10-acre property extends the conservation efforts within the Three Springs to North Bay forested land corridor that protects the movement, and therefore survival, of wildlife between habitats. 

In addition to the mature maple forest, the property also includes wetlands and an old agricultural field. The wetlands act as filtration for groundwater as they drain into Three Springs. They also provide breeding habitat for herons and rare insects like the Hine’s emerald dragonfly. 

The field will eventually be restored to prairie that will benefit grassland and breeding birds, as well as bees. The native forest also caters to birds migrating along the Mississippi Flyway. 

Three Springs Nature Preserve is free and open to the public. Its 1.75-mile looped hiking trail features a scenic lookout over springs and wetlands. The 515-acre preserve also contains old stone fences and historic farm buildings, including a barn that is a significant roosting site for little brown bats.

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