Grant to help purchase 101-acre lakefront parcel pending legislative review
A plan to purchase 101 acres along Lake Michigan that would become a public nature preserve on the far southeast end of the City of Port Washington seemed almost impossibly complex at one time.
The city and Ozaukee County would finance the $2 million purchase and be partially reimbursed by a state grant.
The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust would purchase the property and eventually transfer ownership of it to the county, which would incorporate it into its parks system.
And in addition to protecting and opening to the public 1.25 miles of shoreline and two natural areas identified as high priorities for preservation, the preserve would make possible the proposed Cedar Vineyard development, which calls for 82 homes, a vineyard and winery on 126 acres primarily between Highway C and Lake Michigan next to the preserve.
But as complicated as it seemed, it is just a few steps away from becoming reality, Land Trust Executive Director Shawn Graff said last week.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed that the Knowles Nelson Stewardship fund will contribute $1 million toward the purchase of the preserve pending approval by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, Graff said.
“We’re so darn close it hurts,” he said.