Treasures of Oz

Celebrating the Natural Gems of Ozaukee County



Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes

Aug 26 - Sept 22, 2017

Join us on our 300+ mile journey as we walk this summer from the vibrant shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee to the coast of the largest (by surface area) freshwater resource on the planet, Lake Superior.

The objective of the “Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes” is to raise awareness for the Great Lakes and freshwater conservation. In spite of their majesty, the Great Lakes are a fragile ecosystem and face serious threats from pollution, invasive species, climate change, and degradation and loss of wetlands. The need for regulation, research, restoration and education on local, statewide and national levels is imperative now more than ever. We all have a stake in what happens to our natural resources; a stake in the future of these streams, rivers, lakes and Great Lakes.

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Michael Frome - The Last Page

This is the last edition of my Portogram, due to my departure from this earth on September 4, 2016.

It has been great fun, I’ve enjoyed it very much, and I send my best wishes to all my friends and followers.

Be of good cheer,
Michael (assisted by his daughter, Michele, and his son, William)

Michael Frome

Michael Frome
May 25, 1920 – September 4, 2016

Michael Frome has been well known as author, educator and tireless champion of America’s natural heritage. The late Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the father of Earth Day, said of him, “No writer in America has more persistently and effectively argued for the need of national ethics of environmental stewardship than Michael Frome.”

Over the years Michael has been a featured columnist in Field & Stream, Los Angeles Times, American Forests and Defenders of Wildlife. He has written over twenty books, including one of his latest, Heal the Earth, Heal the Soul andhis biography, Rebel on the Road—and why I was never neutral. His other books include Greenspeak, Green Ink, Battle for the Wilderness, Regreening the National Parks, and Strangers in High Places.Late in 2012, twenty of his former students published Letters to Michael—Reflections on Life by former students of Michael Frome. Niels Nokkendtved, the editor of Letters, wrote in preface, “What impressed me the most about Michael are his patience and his willingness to share the wealth of his own experience.”

Michael Frome was born in New York City May 25, 1920, the son of William and Henrietta (nee Marks) Fromm. He changed the last name to Frome when he was nineteen. After high school he attended City College in New York. During World War II he trained as a navigator and served in the US Air Force Air Transport Command, flying to distant corners of the world.

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2015 - A Very Good Year for Ozaukee Treasures

OWLT and Ozaukee County secured the ownership on Cedar Heights Gorge/ Ozaukee Clay Bluffs with its mile of Lake Michigan shoreline.  It is destined to become a county park and be another showcase for our clay bluffs, which are unique to this area.

The City of Port Washington, along with the cities of Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Two Rivers are well on their way to having their waters designated a NOAA National Marine Sanctuary focused on shipwrecks.

OWLT preserved 185+ additional acres in Ozaukee County, including the new, 155 acre Spirit Lake Preserve in Mequon.  This brings their total preserved acres in both Ozaukee and Washington counties to well over 6000.

Ozaukee County Land and Water Management with Planning and Parks added a small park in the Town of Grafton on Edgewater Drive on the MIlwaukee River, adding to the necklace of beautiful stops along the river in Ozaukee County.  This was the happy result of a flood control project.

Ulao Creek restoration was completed at the Gateway site and mostly completed at the Arrowhead site.  While these are not public places, this restoration is a huge addition to the health of Ozaukee waterways, fish and wildlife.

Mole Creek restoration was completed south of Cedar Sauk Road.   Like the Ulao project, this is on private lands but improves our waters.  Both of these restorations are projects of the Milwaukee River Watershed Fish Passage Program, an arm of Ozaukee County Planning and Parks.

The Friends of Harrington Beach State Park completed their accessible cabin project - a huge asset to the park and the county.  It is now available for rentals.

OWLT has improved the pool house structure and is in process of redoing the bridge at the Donges Bay Gorge Preserve.

chimney swift towerThe first Chimney Swift Tower has been erected at Virmond Park by Ozaukee County Planning and Parks.  With fewer chimneys and caps on those that are standing, the Chimney Swift population has been declining rapidly.  Created structures (think really big bird house) are helping.

The prairie and wetlands have been planted at the Krier Conservancy in the Town of Belgium, the newest nature preserve-to-be.  It will be open to the public when completed. Future plans include a trail network with interpretive signage, bridges over Sucker Brook Creek, and several infrastructure improvements such as a nature center and pavilion.

Thank you to these organizations and countless volunteers who are making Ozaukee a national model for a strong and healthy community that cherishes its environment. 

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On Course and Heading to Ozaukee Waters: National Marine Sanctuary

Using a community-based process, four cities in three counties, Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Two Rivers are making an application to NOAA for designation of their off-shore waters as a National Marine Sanctuary.  This area has formerly been identified by the Wisconsin Historical Society as important. The nomination process is complete and the Initial Review has either just happened or is about to happen.  The entire process going from being added to the inventory to formal designation is expected to take several years.

The area of application covers 875 square miles.  There are thirty-three known wrecks in the area including the two oldest in Wisconsin, fourteen that are intact and four with standing masts.  Twelve of these wrecks are on the national register.  This is the highest concentration in the entire area.  Most of these ships were constructed between 1833 and 1918.  Ten of the thirty-three wrecks are close to Port Washington.

Collaboration on this project has begun to yield added benefits.  The Port Exploreum is now working with the Marine Museum in Manitowoc.

There are fourteen national marine sanctuaries in the country and, to date, only one on the Great Lakes, - the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan on Lake Huron.

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Winter Outdoor’s in Oz

The holidays begin and the calorie count gets higher.
The days are short and and we sit by the fire.
Roly poly

Time to set a plan for winter playtime, winter workouts and best of all, winter adventures in Oz.  Ozaukee County is a great place to play outdoors in winter, stay in shape and discover winter treasures.

Cross-country skiing.  If you can walk, you can do this.  Of course, as you learn and practice, cross-country/ Nordic skiing can move from a slow walk in the woods to an art form that lets you glide effortlessly over hill and dale.  Groomed trails are nice, especially if you prefer skate-skiing, but cutting trails on your own is great exercise and fairly easy if the snow is not too deep.  At more popular skiing spots, trails are usually cut by someone who gets out even earlier than you do.

Snowshoeing is simply walking with snow shoes on - no special training is needed.  It lets you stay on top of the snow and allows you to walk into the woods in ways that skiers cannot - efficiently going between trees with tight turns.

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