Ozaukee Treasures Network

Cedar Heights Gorge

ALL HANDS ON DECK!

TREASURE FOUND !

Please help Ozaukee claim it

for all the people and wildlife as well!

 

When this park, Lake Michigan Clay Banks - Cedar Heights Gorge, is a focal point in Ozaukee County, you can tell your children that it was because of you and your network, that this is here today.

THE OPPORTUNITY:

Ozaukee County has a unique opportunity to establish a new park rivaling Lions Den Gorge Nature Preserve. We need to help the County Board of Supervisors realize the potential and long term value of this acquisition.

WHAT IT IS:

250 some acres on the Lake Michigan bluffs just south of Port Washington Including the natural area of Cedar Heights Gorge (much like Lion’s Den Gorge), a critical species habitat, and our treasured and unique Lake Michigan clay banks. (Google Map in new window)
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HOW IT IS HAPPENING:

There is a coalition of environmental organizations, led by The Nature Conservancy and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, that are pooling resources together to purchase this land for preservation.

Ozaukee County is being asked to be a partner and to contribute a relatively small investment (approximately $600,000) to the entire purchase price. The County is currently bonding for a large sum of money, as interest rates are really low, to take care of many projects that have been put off. There is room in this package to include funds for this purchase.

The Ozaukee County Board needs to hear from its residents, (and other area people) that this is a priority and they should include this project in the bonding effort.

It is a once in a lifetime - actually a whole lot more than than - opportunity and if we do not take it now, it is lost forever. This land can be preserved - and become a public open space/park- for everyone as well as a preserved natural area on the Lake Michigan Flyway - or it can be left to chance development and never again be freely open to all.

This place is a true Ozaukee, and Wisconsin, treasure. It will rival Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, if you can imagine that. This will add value to the entire county and make Ozaukee an even more attractive place to live in, work in, recreate in and to visit.

WHEN:

Between today and May 15th!

WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN:

1. Call, write or email your County Board Supervisor and tell that person that you want them to support the land acquisition along Lake Michigan for preservation as park and open space and include an amount in the County bonding effort for this acquisition.

2. Share your message with the entire county board by writing or emailing County Board Chair, Lee Schlenvogt, and directing him to share your message with the full board.

3. Attend the May 15th meeting of the County Board, where this will be voted upon. You can fill out a notecard that they have there stating you wish to speak to the Board (just a few words) or simply fill out the card (if you are too shy) saying that you are there to support this land acquisition and inclusion in the bonding effort, but do not wish to speak. (The meeting is at 9:00 a.m. in the County Board Room of the Administration Center, 121 W. Main Street, Port Washington)

4. The more people that contact the Board, come to the meeting, and the more that take 30 seconds or so to address the Board, the better the chance that this will happen.

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE COUNTY BOARD’S EMAIL:

http://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/Board/board.html

The goal of the coalition of organizations is to ultimately turn this over to Ozaukee County as a County natural area and park, similar to Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve. Ozaukee County really needs to step up to the plate and do their small share. The new County Board is less educated as to the importance of open space to its residents and needs to hear that message. Continuing members of the Board need strong resident support to do this.

ONE MORE THING:

Land acquisitions, such as this, rely heavily on the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund from the State of Wisconsin. Governor Walker HAS included funding this program in the proposed state budget that is currently under debate.

There is a segment of the legislature that is looking to take this fund out of the budget anyway. To prevent that, the Joint Finance Committee needs to hear from us as well.

Several of our local representatives, Alberta Darling and Jim Ott, are on that committee.

Sending them a personal note (highest level of effectiveness) or an email or a making a call to their office can make a huge difference. Former State Representative Mary Panzer once said that if she received 5 personal letters on a topic, she knew that it must be important to her constituents.

Please do this as well - just ask them to support Governor Walker’s budget plan and maintain the State Stewardship Fund. You might remind them that Ozaukee County is looking to do a great thing by protecting a new area along Lake Michigan, which will be a huge value-added to Ozaukee County, and that this action needs stewardship funding to happen.

HERE IS THE CONTACT INFO FOR DARLING AND OTT:

Alberta Darling http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/darling/pages/Email-Senator-Darling.aspx

Jim Ott http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/asm23/news/contact.htm

Please share this widely to your networks, friends and neighbors. We can make this happen, and it might not if we don’t get involved. This is such an easy way to do something so very important.

When this park, Lake Michigan Clay Banks - Cedar Heights Gorge, is a focal point in Ozaukee County, you can tell your children that it was because of you and your network, that this is here today.

Click on the image to open Google Maps. Then click on Satellite view to see more features.

Cedar Heights Gorge Map Image-sm

pdfCedar Heights Gorge Map DNR VKDevelopmentDop409.58 KB

Click to enlarge ↓

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