Volunteer Highlight: Paul Schumacher

“It’s all of our tasks to leave this planet in better shape after we are gone.”

Lives in: Jacksonport (Clark Lake)

Profession: A retired planning manager for Wisconsin Electric

Number of years in Door County: 12 years full time, 70 years part time 

Started volunteering: Department of Natural Resources inland-lake volunteer starting in 1986 and continuing; The Nature Conservancy (TNC) state trustee for nine years in the 1990s, currently trustee emeritus; chair of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council, 1990s-2012; team member on the Dunes Lake watershed study, 1990s to the present; board member of Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands, 2012-22; certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church, 2016 to the present.

Areas of interest: Water quality; land, water and ecosystem conservation; historic preservation of our maritime history; prevention and control of invasive species. Creating and delivering a sermon that helps people.

Volunteer accomplishments: Water-quality monitoring of Clark Lake for more than 35 years, identification of nutrient sources to Dunes Lake, and execution of preservation projects on maritime-safety buildings on Plum and Pilot Islands. As part of a TNC team, helped to create the first international carbon-sequestration project in Belize. As part of that project, we developed a sustainable mahogany timber-harvest program.

Why he began volunteering, and why he continues: My undergraduate degree from UW-Green Bay started me on a path of environmental efforts. It’s all of our tasks to leave this planet in better shape after we are gone. Many hands make this effort lighter and achievable.

What he’s gained from volunteering: The knowledge that I am making a difference, and that leading by example hopefully will motivate others to join in.

Favorite volunteering moment: Walking through forests and other areas protected in part through my efforts. Enjoying our natural world and all that it offers. Seeing my first toucan flying in the jungles of Belize. Delivering a sermon.