Our first property, the Trout House, had been a working cattle farm for over 100 years when we bought it. The cattle had been confined to the area around the creek—which was not good for the ecological health of the waterway and surroundings. As well as this, a heavily fertilized 8-acre corn field near the creek was adding to the pollution and habitat destruction.
In 2022, after taking over the property, we jumped right in to the restoration work. We are tearing up the barbed-wire fences around the creek and are working to restore the deteriorated riverbank. We planted the former cornfield with prairie grasses, and are continuing to re-establish the vital spawning and nursery habitats that trout and other fish species and wildlife need to thrive. We are also working with the Wisconsin DNR to permanently protect over 1.5 miles of Trout Creek and its tributaries on the property and are going to deed restrict the development rights to the entire property.
The Lake House is a small ecological gem in an otherwise heavily developed shoreline area of Lake Michigan. Over $300,000 dollars has already been spent to restore the Lake Michigan shoreline on the property. Our mission at the Lake House is to preserve its beauty and to maintain the over 200 feet of shoreline on the property. By removing invasive species and replacing them with native vegetation, we aim to stabilize the near-shore shallow waters which are essential habitats for many of Lake Michigan’s fish and other wildlife. We hope that our efforts to increase shoreline vegetation and structure will help Lake Michigan better cope with ecosystem stress into the future.