WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT
The 3,400-acre Shivering Sands wetland complex encompasses three lakes, several streams and springs, forested sand dunes, lowland conifer forest, sedge meadows and fens. It is rich in rare plant life and is home to many birds, mammals, frogs and other wildlife.
WHY THE CONSERVANCY SELECTED THIS SITE
Located on Lake Michigan just north of Sturgeon Bay, the variety of plant communities at Shivering Sands Preserve provides excellent habitat for several rare plants and myriad wildlife and is exceptional in both size and diversity.
The three lakes of the preserve—Dunes, Schwartz and Arbter—set in a dense white cedar swamp are shallow and fringed with cattails, rushes, sedges and scattered tamaracks. Many of the plants in the lake associated wetlands and elsewhere on the preserve are typical of alkaline fens, an uncommon wetland type in Wisconsin.
The largest of the lakes at 81 acres, Dunes Lake receives the majority of its water from Geisel Creek, a slow, ground and surface water fed stream that drains land to the north. This shallow lake drains to Lake Michigan by the narrower, more swiftly flowing Shivering Sands Creek.
Having no fish barriers, the Geisel Creek, Dunes Lake, Shivering Sands waterway provides important access to spawning habitat for Lake Michigan tributary spawning fish such as northern pike and a variety of sucker species. Springs, which discharge from the dolomite bedrock that underlies the Shivering Sands area, feed the streams and lakes of the preserve.
WHAT THE CONSERVANCY IS DOING
The Nature Conservancy began its work in the Shivering Sands area in 1984, with the first bird and plant inventories. We began to protect land at Shivering Sands in 1992, and have helped protect more than 1,091 acres. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also owns land at Shivering Sands. The Conservancy continues to work with local landowners, land trusts and property owners associations to protect this nationally significant wetland area.