Retreat Property Added to Chambers Island Preserve

The Door County Land Trust has acquired a 22.75-acre ecological gem – an isthmus once part of the Green Bay Diocese’s Holy Name Retreat Center – thanks to private donations from Chambers Island landowners and a Natural Resources Damage Assessment Program (NRDAP) grant awarded by the Fox River and Green Bay natural resources trustees.

The purchase fits into the original 830-acre plan for the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. Located between the island’s Lake Mackaysee and the bay of Green Bay, the isthmus provides critical wildlife and fishery habitat. 

The NRDAP funding will help to offset the damage from PCB contamination in the Fox River and the bay of Green Bay. Another important component of this property is that it provides easy access to the preserve for the public, continuing to inspire and provide solace for those who visit the Chambers Island Nature Preserve.

“There is a stunning cathedral forest of red oaks, sugar maples, white pines, beech and hemlock – many over 150 years old,” said Terrie Cooper, senior land-protection manager.

The Chambers Island Nature Preserve is composed of diverse ecosystems that include wetlands, forest, beach, ridge and swale, and lake habitats. It is home to a multitude of plant, animal, bird and insect species, some of which are classified as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern. Twenty-seven bird species found within the preserve are identified as Species of Greatest Conservation Need, based on the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan.

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