Treasures of Oz

Celebrating the Natural Gems of Ozaukee County



Clay Bluffs - Cedar Gorge

Category: Nature Preserves
Location: Port Washington Show More
Hits: 3205
Size: 101.0 Acres

Preserve in Process - Coming Soon

Clay Bluffs-Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve is the newest addition to the treasures of Oz. It was acquired by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust after significant time and negotiations with Ozaukee County, the larger property developer, the bank and the DNR. OWLT will place a conservation easement on the 101 acre preserve and eventually turn it over to Ozaukee County Planning and Parks for use as a county park, much as was done in creating Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, which lies just to the south.

Ozaukee County Planning and Parks describes the property as such:

The property includes a primary environmental corridor,( a critical species habitat site and a natural area.) It has been identified for protection by Ozaukee County in the adopted and certified Park and Open Space Plan for Ozaukee County: 2035 as part of a priority project area known as the Lion’s Den Gorge Project Area. In addition, it has been identified for protection as part of the Multi‐jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan for Ozaukee County: 2035.

The approximately 101 acre property includes:

1.25 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, 93 acres of primary environmental corridor, 5 acres of wetlands, 41 acres of woodland, “high” groundwater recharge areas, and importantly an identified locally significant, Natural Area‐3, critical species habitat site known as the Port Washington Clay Banks (35 acres) and a locally significant, NA‐3, natural area known as Cedar Heights Gorge (9 acres).

It is a significant property on the International Lake Michigan Migratory Bird Flyway and part of two Important Bird Areas as identified by the State. The property provides a unique recreational opportunity to provide a site on the Federal/State designated Lake Michigan Water Trail and also a direct connection to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail via an off‐road trail. It enhances the potential designation of the NOAA Mid‐Lake Michigan Marine Sanctuary. Finally, it enhances the existing Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve County Park, which continues to be one of the most popular County Parks and has received many accolades for its passive use recreational development. (excerpted from DocumentCenter/View/702)

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