Spring 2016 Newsletter

Old Shoes

You probably remember that favorite pair of shoes that you owned at one time. They fit just right and you wore them all the time in rain and sun, snow and ice, cold and hot, just about whatever nature threw at you. That pair of shoes handled it just fine.

But, as the soles got thinner, a couple of little holes got bigger and you started to feel less and less comfortable in those shoes, to the point that, well, it was time, after all those years, to replace the shoes.

You could just look for the same kind and go through the process all over again, or maybe you could get the improved model that is more resistant to moisture, made of a super tough material that could handle whatever Mother Nature threw at it and maybe a little wider and more comfortable because your foot needs more room to breathe and stretch out. Wait. Just where is this shoe story going?

This shoe story is the closest analogy I could come up with to describe the saga of our parking lot. It was at the start, very adequate for Crossroads and fit our needs quite well. As the years went by, our programming grew and nature hammered away. The need for a larger and much improved version parking area was obvious.

The solution to the problem will soon be initiated with a preliminary design concept by our Land Manager, Rich Propsom. Utilizing permeable concrete and some innovative water drainage and taking advantage of existing ponds already in place, we hope to expand the parking area to the east to handle our overflow parking problems. Rich’s designs will next go to an engineering firm to come up with a plan and construction specifications to go out for bid by local contractors.

Although this process sounds very simple, it isn’t without challenges that will require some very innovative solutions to meet the high environmental standards and consider-ations that Crossroads has always aspired to achieve. Obviously, a project of this magni-tude will require some serious fundraising. So a Challenge Campaign is underway.

Special thanks go out to Gretchen Schmelzer and her ‘Ski For Free’ team this winter. Even though we had our ups and downs with snow cover, which Rich Propsom trans-formed into a very skiable surface, the ‘Ski for Free’ volunteers got young and old alike out of the house and on the ski trails. Next up: the Crossroads Trail Run.

As spring progresses , a new floating walkway and observation dock will be installed in Big Creek Cove, a project funded by a combination of grants and private donations.

Speaking of challenges and progress, the highway roundabout project will create some challenges in reaching Crossroads this spring and summer. Follow our detour route (see page 6) and you will find us waiting to offer you some great learning experi-ences for 2016.

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Dick Weidman,
President, Board of Directors at Crossroads

How Will An Expanded Parking Lot Resemble a Spring Peeper?

It will both SHED and ABSORB WATER.

Crossroads at Big Creek Parking Lot Expansion


Visitation at Crossroads and the Door County Historical Society’s Heritage Village at Big Creek has increased dramatically over the years. Frequently, our original parking lot has filled to overflowing, forcing people to park on neighboring properties and streets. This overflow is not only inconvenient, but also is a safety concern. This fall, we hope to double the size of the parking lot.

Expansion of the existing parking lot is only possible to the east, toward the Maintenance Building presenting significant engineering and environmental challenges. Parking expansion needs to provide necessary safety and convenience for all visitors while protecting the environment. This means dealing with existing surface and ground water drainage issues as we managing a problem inherent to all parking areas, contaminated runoff.

Current plans call for a hybrid parking lot using two materials [similar in some ways to a frog’s skin] which can shed and absorb water. The first material is common asphalt which sheds water, is cost effective and melts ice off nicely during slippery winter weather. The second is a permeable pre-cast concrete which can absorb the water shed from the asphalt portion. Drainage from the parking lot will be directed to a small forebay/retention area which will act as a pre-filter before water goes into our existing wildlife scrape.

To jump-start our fundraising effort, an anonymous donor generously offered to match donations (up to $50,000) made while the spring peepers are still peeping (usually about June 1).

Please consider making a tax deductible gift (see page 7) to support our Parking Lot Project. A gift of any size will really help. Know that any gift you give before June 1 will not only be matched, but will bring us closer to starting our parking lot expansion this fall.

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  • Double existing parking.
  • Develop an environmentally responsible storm water management system.
  • Address existing water table drainage issues.
  • Improve lighting quality and economics while accommodating Dark Sky initiatives.
  • Demonstrate that parking lot space can be efficient and effectively integrated into the landscape in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Gifts Made in 2015

$50,000 to $99,999

Don and Coggin Heeringa
The Estate of Wayne and
Patricia Eastman
Ray Stonecipher

$25,000 – $49,999

1923 Fund

$5,000 – 9,999

Christine Gritzmacher and Tom Pollock
Joan and Brian Wake

$2,500 to $4,999

The Estate of Helen Collins James and Cathy Collins
Dick and Pat Maches
Ministry Door County Medical Center
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortiu
Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Foundation

$1,000 to $2,499

Rev. Anthony Birdsall
Door County Silent Sports Alliance
Connolly Family Charitable Foundation
Hugh and Helena Brogan Foundation
Tom and Peggy Hauser
Joy Maccaux
Marian Hislop Charitable Lead Trust
Barb and Mike Madden Fund of the Door County Community Foundation
Meissner Family Foundation of the Door County Community Foundation
MMG Foundation
Midwest Archaeological Consultants John and Nancy Munch
David and Lori Nicholas
Nancy Snyder
Shelia Turner
Sturgeon Bay Utilities

$500 to $999

Lee and Susan Basten
Breakfast Rotary Club
Jim Campbell
Barb and Mike Madden Fund of the Door County Community Foundation
Cellcom Green Gifts
Mary Jane Combs
Dorene Dempster and Mark Herrell
Door Property Owners
Grace and Bruce Frudden
Jack and Cindy Follick
John and LeeAnn Harling
Robert and Donna Hays
Ann and David Harsh
Historic Preservation Fund of the Door County Community Foundation
Diane Jome
J. Randolph and Mary Kenny
John and Karen Kierstyn
Karl and Lucy Klug
Ed and Cindy Koutnik
Master Gardeners of Door County
Curt and Evelyn Mingle
Robert and Carol Moellenberndt
Ivy Nelson
Bill and Betty Parsons
Rod and Marian Schlise
Josephine Thiell
Dave and Jackie Udell
Norm and Mabel Watkins

$250 to $449

Animal Clinic of Sturgeon Bay
Susan Austad
John and Anne Bladholm
Joseph and Lori Cedzo
David and Janet Daniel
David and Marilyn Doerr
Door County Environment Council
Eagle Mechanical
Patrick and Judith Fitzgerald
Scott and Kerry Galson
Robert and Irene Gray
John and Laurel Hauser
Thomas and Jill Herlache
Marcus and Margit Kelley
Leroy and Marilyn Liebe
Margaret Madel
Katie Malvetz
Northern Door Pet Clinic
Eric and Dee Paulsen
Jeff and Barb Ottum
Marguerite and Dennis Skahen
Tim and Sue Stone
Heidi and Daniel Tomaszewski
J.A. Szczepanski
Viking Electric Supply
Steve and Joan Wilkie

$100 to $249

John and Cathy Acker
Roger and Sandy Anderson
Bank of Luxemberg
Jeanne Barnard
Bayside Home Medical
Gerry and Jane Berg
Bill and Marie Bertschinger
Mary Ann Blahnik
Pat Blizel
Carol Bockhop
Eileen and Rod Bohn
Jane and Randy Bumgardner
James and Barbara Bunning
John and Cathy Campbell
Helen Collins
Carol Connelly
Karen Cowen
Carol De Vault State Farm
Dorsal LLC
Mardele and Ione Engleking
Daniel and Chriss Daubner
John Hippensteel
Philip Dorchester
Ed and Adele Douglass
Charles and Joanne Dull
John Fulkerson
William and Cleida Galligan
Scott and Kerry Galson
Deb Whitelaw Gorski
Katherine Green
John and Chris Guenther
Jane Guthrie
Richard and Carrie Hauser
Nicole Herbst
Linda Hinkston
Howard H. Hintze
Mark and Pam Honold
De Anne Hoffmann
Liz and Dave Hoffman
Mark and Pam Honold
Hope Fellowship
Jacob’s Bluefront Café
Jeanquart Associates, Inc.
Denise and Michael Johnsen
Cathy Laba
Paul Lambeck
Pat and Norb Lenius
Delane Jome
Jerry and Nan Krause
Christina Koehn
Paul and Marily Malberg
Nancy Mattke
Al Miller and Vick Dirst
Tom and Claire Minahan
Nor Door Sport and Cyclery, Inc.
Madelyn Ostrand
Sandra Ott
Peninsula Planters Garden Club
Bill and Barb Perloff
Ron and Cynthia Peterson
Harry and Judy Porter
Matt Propsom
Tony Polonus
Greg Ristow
George and Kristi Roehning
ROSS Wealth Management, Inc.
Kathy Rowe
Dorothy Russell
Bela and Ruth Sandor
William and Mary Jo Schaars
Pete and Carol Schuster – LFPDesign! LLC
Richard and Dorothy Shappell
Dennis and Marguerite Skahen
Andrea and James Solpher
Bob and Terri Starr
Pam and Dennis Starr
Scott Steebs
Gertrude Stillman
Patricia Stocking
Jim and Tina Stawicki
Mike and Barb Sweeny
Thrivent Financial
Nancy Tong
Kerry and Kathy Vavra
James and Donna Urban
Van Akkeren Family Trust
Mark Voreis and Lucia Allen-Voreis
Rob and Cathy Vuksanovic
Randy Watermolen
James Wegg
Dick and Mari Weidman
Scott Wake
Wild Ones of Door County
James and Elizabeth Williamson
Hal and Shirley Winbourough
Wild Ones of Door County
Peter Wyatt and Victoria Cernich
Beth and John Yount
Dwight and Pam Zeller

$50 – 99

Marlen Allen
Steve and Donna Asher
Dean and Sue Anschutz
Sarah Anschutz
Heidi Bader
Peter and Carol Clikeman
George and Margaret Collier
Catherine Eckers
Joan Draeb
June Ehbar
Dolores Evenson
Mytle Felhofer
David Furjanic and Maureen Fellyfurjanic
Gerald and Mary Lou Guth
G.L. and Susan Hegenbarth
Earl and Ruth Hellmann
Doug and Barbara Henderson
Louis and Rosemary Janda
Judy Juadis
Herb Klein and Cal Bonniver
Paul and Kanai King
Lucille Kirkegaard
Tammy Kroll
Chris and Connie Larsen
Milton and Karen Lenius
John and Elsie Lindgrin
Cindy Livingston
Andrew and Clare Lubar
Keith and Christine Miller
Joyce Miller
Mark and Jennifer Moeller
Gretchen Montee
Susan Nelson
Jan Olson
Bill and Sonja Polster
Ann Quale
Belinda Richard
John Rosenthal
Winifred Recupero
Jeanne Schopf
Edward Schriner-Schmitt
James Tellstrom
Trudy Toft and Mark Dupuy
Raymond and Lee Vlaming

$1 – 49

Helen Jan Anschutz
Linda and Lazar Beaty
Jeanne Barnard
John and Carol Bartoszwek
Concetta Del Buono
Cheryl Chhoronze
Rose Coisman
Eelaine Cregan
Jessica DeJarin
Arvin and Judi Dexheimer
Paula Engleber
Matt and Engebretson
Ione Engleking
George and Margaret Evenson
Travis Grooters
Marjorie Grutzmacher
Nicole Herbst
Ed and Margo Ireland
Deborah Jeanquart
Lucille Kirkegaard
Norman and Sharon Kiehau
Thomas and Suzanne Kuffel
Ellen Looker
Jim and Valerie Maki
Harry and Judy Porter
Harold and Bev Schopf
Jeanne Schopf
George and Susan Sergeant
Geri Szuberla
Linda Walczek
Jolene Wilson
Clifford Wind

2016 Business Members

$500 Level

C & S Manufacturing
Meissner Landscape Inc.
Midwest Archaeological Consultant
Ross Estate Planning

$250 Level

Baylake Bank
Door County Trolley
Jilot Insurance Agency, Inc.
Thrivent Financial – Jaqueline Szczepanski
Viking Electric
Wulf Brothers / HiTec Fabrications

$100 Level

Bayside Home Medical
Dorsal, Inc.
Gordon’s West Side Electric
Hannemann-Gosser Insurance & Financial Services
Havegard Farms, Inc.
LfpDesign! LLC
Source Building Services LLC
Young Automotive, Inc.

Special Thanks!

Gerry Banks, Sturgeon Bay High School
Mary Biggs, Sturgeon Bay High School
Door County Community Foundation
Door County Daily News.com
Door County Advocate
Door Peninsula Astronomical Society
Door County Libraries
Door County Silent Sports Allianace
Friends of Crossroads
Mike Grota
Lake Michigan Wind and Sun
LfpDesign! LLC
Lily Bay Sand and Gravel
Midwest Archaeologicals
Peninsula Pulse
Raibrook Foundation
Sturgeon Bay Utilities
Wild Ones of Door County
Write On Door County

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Road Construction Detours

To Access:

Collins Learning Center, Heritage Village at Big Creek & Parking
Follow Highway Detour and turn right on County T (Alabama St.). This will cross Hwy 42-57 and continue East. Turn right at Big Creek Road. Turn right at Lily Bay Road, and right again where it intersects Michigan Street. The Crossroads Main Entrance is on your left (1/8 mile).

Sturgeon Bay Highway Detour to Crossroads

Astronomy Campus, Big Creek Cove, Ida Bay and the Hanson House
Follow the Highway Detour. Cross the bridge and take a right at first stop sign onto Memorial Drive. Follow until you go under the highway. Turn left at 18th Place and follow until you reach Utah Street. Turn right on Utah Street, the Hanson House is on the left after the creek, the Astronomy Campus is at the top of the hill at the Cove Road intersection. The Ida Bay Property is to the right, about 1/2 mile down Cove Road.

We Landed the Funds!

With your help we met our goal for the Dock Project. Thank you for your support!

Kayaker at CrossroadsBy the time tadpoles have become frogs, and hopefully even before, Crossroads will install a dock at Big Creek Cove!

In our winter newsletter, we asked the community to help us replace the dock at our newest property. We requested funds, not just the purchase price of the dock, but also an additional 20% for our on-going maintenance fund. By February of 2016, thanks to the amazing generosity of some wonderful people and foundations, we met our goal!

At the point where The Cove empties into Sturgeon Bay, a 100’ floating dock—a canoe and kayak landing, a work surface for lessons and research, a hike destination, and the perfect place for observing frogs (and birds and boats)—will be installed.

Many thanks to all who helped us purchase the dock, and thank you in ad-vance to all the people who will bring children to this special wetland destination where they can get in touch with nature.

Donors to the Dock Project:

  • Baylake Bank
  • Jim Baxter
  • Gerry and Jane Berg
  • Breakfast Rotary Club of Door County
  • Cellcom Green Gifts
  • John Glessner
  • Green Fund, Door County Community Foundation
  • Don and Coggin Heeringa
  • John and Nell Herlache Fund, Door County Community Foundation
  • Kenneth and Jeanne Hill
  • Hugh and Helena Brogan Foundation
  • Joy Maccaux
  • Raibrook Foundation
  • Ruth and Hartley Barkley Fund, Door County Community Foundation
  • Joan and Brian Wake
  • Cap and Mary Wulf

Door County’s First & Only Trail Run

trail runWelcoming all runners and walkers to Crossroads at Big Creek Environmental Learning Preserve.
Start Time: 8:00 am
Become a Sponsor or Register at: www.CrossroadsRun.com

Highlights Include:

  • Three levels of courses: 2k fun run/walk, and 5k and 10k runs with chip timing.
  • Trails take you through coniferous woods, over wooden bridges crossing Big Creek, weaving through meadows, old orchards, past the Leif Everson Observatory and beyond. 10k runners will experience less road and added trail on Ida Bay Preserve. Trails includes single and double track, with woodchip, gravel, and dirt foundations. Each mile is marked.
  • All finishers receive a potted evergreen tree donated by Evergreen Nursery.
  • All participants receive a Green Layer performance shirt and a race bib with a timing chip.
  • Post event refreshments: Homemade vanilla ice cream, Door County cherries & granola.
  • Awards are made locally by artists and businesses.
  • Proceeds from the event support the Crossroads Ski-for-Free program.
  • Race also promotes wellness and healthy living, cross-generational recreation and increased awareness of ‘green’ living in our community.

Download a pdf of our Spring 2016 newsletter

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