Piecing it Together: The Conservation Puzzle

This year’s Sustainability Issue was inspired by the docuseries Ridge and Swale, the Peninsula Filmworks production that tells the story of how Door County has worked, and continues to work, on conserving and maintaining the county’s natural beauty and heritage.

You can learn more about this passion-project production, conceived and achieved by David Eliot (who is also the publisher and co-owner/co-founder of the Peninsula Pulse) and director Brett Kosmider. It will be shown for free to the public on Earth Day, April 22, at the Door Community Auditorium, and again on April 23 at Crossroads at Big Creek.

As the public release of Ridge and Swale drew near, we talked about the production process and all the film that lies on the editing-room floor. We were led to the people who spend their careers in other walks of life – librarians and lawyers, teachers and business owners – yet devote their free time or their retired life to helping local environmental organizations fulfill their missions to conserve and protect this precious land we call home.

These are the conservation volunteers. There is not a single environmental organization in Door County that could survive without them. They give their time, knowledge, skills and muscle to lead tours, teach classes, record data, fight invasive species, preserve native populations, raise awareness, and improve water quality and soil. They teach the youngest among us what it means to be good stewards of the land and lead by example throughout.

They are the pieces of the bigger puzzle that, when fit together, draw strength from each other. They work to build sustainable communities with balanced resources that are natural, clean, healthy, beautiful and wild. They do what they do out of love for nature and neighbors, and they rarely, if ever, receive any recognition.

We introduce you to many of these people within these pages, knowing there are still so many more who belong here. We owe them a debt of gratitude. In telling their stories, we hope to provide them with some recognition, but also to inspire those who must follow in their footsteps if we are to achieve a sustainable, natural balance for our communities – and by extension, our world.