On Monday, December 11, Crossways and North Central Conservancy Trust closed on a conservation easement years in the making. The following is a press release from NCCT:
North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT) has partnered with Crossways Camping Ministries’ Waypost Camp to protect 88 acres and over half the shoreline of beautiful Mission Lake in southeastern Marathon County. On December 11, 2017, a conservation easement was signed that will forever protect a cedar swamp, bogs, and forested knolls that once were a summer home to indigenous peoples. The oak and pine-clad highlands hold a magnificent view across the lake. Tall hemlocks and wetlands line the shore, and diverse aquatic plant communities provide habitat for a robust fishery.
In 2017, NCCT applied for and received state funding through the DNR’s Lake Protection Grant program and from Marathon County’s Environmental Impact Fund. These grants funded the cost of a conservation easement on Waypost Camp. The project has had strong and vigorous support from the DNR, Marathon County, the State Historical Society, the Town of Reid, and adjacent landowners.
A lakeshore with mostly undisturbed, native vegetation is a rare thing, given the significant development pressures on Wisconsin's lakes. There are only five riparian property owners on the lake including the Waypost Camp and Mission Lake County Park, which provides public access and many other amenities.
The completion of a conservation easement on the Waypost Camp property will accomplish many things: In addition to preventing development and fragmentation around Mission Lake, it will protect wildlife habitat and scenic beauty, better protect water quality, and promote lakeshore and archaeological conservation via education. Public events will take place annually at the camp.
The conservation easement also will preserve and protect archaeological resources, as the entire Camp property is designated an archaeological site by the Wisconsin State Historical Society. In spring 2016 an archaeological study confirmed reported Native American Burial Mounds and artifacts of a Native American summer encampment.
About Crossways Camping Ministries:
Crossways Camping Ministries is dedicated to the Mission of bringing people together in Christ so lives are changed and communities enhanced. Programs and activities are focused on the Values of faith, hospitality, community, discovery and care of creation. Crossways is honored to partner with NCCT for this easement so that it may enhance and protect a beautiful, vital piece of our local community. The Waypost property has played a key role in protecting the unique resources of Mission Lake for 75 years and can now continue to do so indefinitely thanks to this easement.
Crossways Camping Ministries is a Lutheran camping ministry based in northeastern Wisconsin that operates three outdoor ministry sites: Imago Dei Village in Clintonville, Pine Lake Camp in Waupaca, and Waypost Camp in Hatley, as well as a traveling day camp ministry. For more information call 920-882-0023 or visit www.crosswayscamps.org.
About North Central Conservancy Trust:
Since our inception, NCCT has been dedicated to protecting the worthy scenic, working lands and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of central Wisconsin. Conservation easements are especially important for protecting the agricultural, scenic, and environmental qualities of our landscape. From our first easement in 1994 on 40 acres in Wausau to our latest easement with Waypost Camp, NCCT is grateful to our conservation-minded benefactors and is dedicated to continuing our growth as an active and vital land trust.
North Central Conservancy Trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to protect, worthy scenic, working lands and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of Central Wisconsin. For more information call 715-344-1910 or visit www.ncctwi.org.