THANK YOU for Protecting Pebble Beach

The story of a scenic shoreline and the community call to protect it.

Waves of Support For Pebble Beach

Door County Land Trust met the first milestone to protect Pebble Beach thanks to hundreds of supporters contributing to protect the beloved shoreline and land. The Village of Sister Bay with help from the Land Trust met the second milestone for the project when they received $1 million in funding through the Wisconsin Department of Administration via a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program grant and completed the purchase of the property on September 18, 2019. The next project milestones include applying for a grant through the Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and the completion of a conservation easement agreement which will permanently protect the land and shoreline for generations to come.


A Geologic Gem in Jeopardy

Pebble Beach underwater

Conservation for the Community

Landowners who have cared for this property for many decades wished to see the property conserved and offered to lower the sale price—if the property would remain natural. The Land Trust office buzzed with hushed fervor, energized by the dream of protecting this geologic gem. But, funding the purchase of the project remained a major obstacle. Land Trust staff reached out to conservation partners and grant funders to see what funding might be available.

In a lucky break, a conservation partner helped the project move forward. The Land Trust’s contact at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources passed on a tip about a grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that would provide $1M—if the property were owned and managed by a local unit of government. The Land Trust pitched the idea to the Village of Sister Bay who began considering the project, and the dream of protecting the property inched closer to reality.

To respond to the community, Door County Land Trust and the Village of Sister Bay created a plan for a partnership to create public access to the shoreline and to protect Pebble Beach from development. With a NOAA grant of $1M tentatively secured and a reduced sale price, the Village of Sister Bay and the Door County Land Trust entered into an agreement to protect the property as a publicly accessible natural area.

In December 2018, Pebble Beach was thrown into the spotlight when local government considered a proposal to divide the undeveloped shoreline into four lots for private development. Public sentiment for protecting the beach from development was voiced loudly in letters to the editor, across social media, and throughout the community. Door County Land Trust was on the receiving end of many of these comments, with members and the public alike expressing their concern for the future of the treasured shoreline. The resonating message was clear; protect Pebble Beach for all to enjoy. But, the prime real estate carried a $3.6M price-tag, which seemed an insurmountable hurdle to protecting the land.


A Plan to Protect Pebble Beach

Pebble2panozlTo help the project succeed, Door County Land Trust, with support from the Village, will raise approximately $500,000 to support the purchase and long-term conservation of the property.

If successful, the land will be owned and managed by the Village of Sister Bay. The Village of Sister Bay intends to apply for a reimbursement grant through Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program to fund up to $1M of the purchase price.

Once completed, Pebble Beach’s beautiful views, extraordinary shoreline and cedar forest will be preserved for all to enjoy.

Door County Land Trust will hold a conservation easement agreement which will ensure the property remains natural. The Land Trust will work with the Village to preserve native plants and wildlife habitat. The Village will manage the recreational use of the property and any amenities, so as to preserve the natural state of the land.

Once completed, Pebble Beach’s beautiful views, extraordinary shoreline and cedar forest will be preserved for all to enjoy.

Door County Land Trust will partner with the Village of Sister Bay to protect 17 acres of natural land and 600 feet of shoreline for the community...forever.

Pebble beach

“Pebble Beach is really a hidden gem. Locals have known, loved and respected it forever. This project means those traditions can continue for generations.”
— Brian Frisque

Protecting a Geologic Gem

Pebble Beach is iconic in many ways, but its biggest claim to fame lies in its namesake – the smooth, long, wide (dolomitic limestone) pebbles that cover the beach. As loved as the shoreline is, the real geologic value of the property rests not in today’s beach but in the ancient shoreline ridges. The property shows thirteen post-glacial shorelines created by changing water levels in the Green Bay basin during and after the retreat of the last continental ice sheets. From Little Sister Cemetery down to today’s shoreline, one can see the receding lake levels of ancient Lakes Algonquin and Nipissing. The historic beach shows how the Niagara Escarpment crumbled to form the fragile shorelines, and is one of a few remaining examples of what formed over thousands of years.