Sauk Creek Preserve trail access to be limited

Land Trust needs about a month to repair flood damage in popular Town of Port natural area

The Sauk Creek Nature Preserve in fall. Press file photo
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Nature lovers beware — access to the trails through Sauk Creek Nature Preserve in Port Washington will be limited for much of June.

That’s because the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust is working to implement flood control measures along the trails and update them to improve safety.

“The access is going to be a little bit different for the time being,” said Tom Mlada, the Land Trust’s director of development. “People can get in, but it’s going to be more difficult to get around.”

Mlada said that after heavy rains last year, the Land Trust identified issues with the trails, which have been washed out and eroded.

Some of the trails are becoming a safety hazard, he said.

Others have been washed out in places, prompting the work, which Mlada said will be done by Land Trust volunteers as well as AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps workers.

Community and business volunteers will also help update the trails.

The work includes installing a flood mitigation system along the trail to divert water and mitigate erosion.

“Our goal is to move the water off the trail more effectively,” Mlada said.

The trails will also be rebuilt, he said. Depending on time and budget, new trails could also be created.

The work is prompted not just by the heavy rains, Mlada said, but also by the age of the trails.

Sauk Creek Nature Preserve has been around since 1992 and is the oldest preserve in the Land Trust’s portfolio. It’s time to update the trails there, Mlada said.

He said the Land Trust hopes to get the bulk of the work done by June 15, when the preserve will be part of the Treasures of Oz tour of environmentally important areas in the county.

The entire project may take until the end of the month, he added.

“At the end of the day, we really hope to increase people’s enjoyment and appreciation of the nature preserve,” Mlada said. “People love what they protect, and they protect what they experience. We want them to experience Sauk Creek Nature Preserve — it’s a well-used and well-loved site.”

Land Trust Executive Director Tom Stolp, noting that access will be more limited, suggested that people looking to spend time in nature visit some of the Land Trust’s other sites in Ozaukee and Washington counties.

“Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in the Town of Belgium is a great alternative,” Stolp said. “Everyone, I think, knows Lions Den Gorge in the Town of Grafton.

“During this time, take the time, take the chance to explore some of the other preserves.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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