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Looking Ahead: Last Days of Summer

Crossroads staff working to clear invasive species

Labor Day has become the traditional, though often not the meteorological, last day of summer. It became a holiday in 1882 to celebrate the success of the labor movement, but it has become a special day to honor American workers. So at Crossroads at Big Creek, we will honor the hundreds of people who, over the centuries, have labored at Crossroads’ Big Creek and Ida Bay Preserves.

The Labors of Crossroads’ Past

During Labor Day Weekend —Friday, Saturday , and Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:30. The Hanson House (2200 Utah Street) will be open for an activity we are calling “Labor Day Reminiscences.”

If local legend serves, for generations, on holiday weekends, family and neighbors gathered at the Homestead. We can’t imagine that folks did not sometimes sit around a kitchen table and perhaps over a glass of lemonade, reminisce about the past.

So we are inviting the community to visit the Hanson House and if they’d like, sit around the kitchen table and over glasses of lemonade, to chat about the people: stone tool makers, pot makers, fishers, gardeners, loggers, farmers, orchardists, conservationists, Christmas tree and strawberry growers, stable hands, construction workers, archaeologists, restorationists and educators who have labored at Crossroads.

Speaking of American workers, we are offering a grateful shout-out to the Barn Volunteers and the construction crew from Carlson-Erickson who currently are revitalizing the historic barn which will become a field station for research.

Barn Volunteers and the construction crew from Carlson-Erickson working to revitalize the historic barn

We have an ulterior motive for this reminiscence activity. We are hoping that people who have worked at what now is our Big Creek Preserve, or who knew the people who lived here, or boarded horses here, or picked fruit, caught fish or helped build our buildings…..will share their memories. Or even better, will give us contact information so we can arrange to record oral histories.

Understand that all are welcome…and that the visits and house tours are free of charge.

Exploring Ida Bay

On the actual Labor Day, the last day of summer, we will offer a 3:00 hike at our Ida Bay Preserve, and each hiker will receive a map/brochure that tells the stories of the people who lived and labored at Ida Bay. And perhaps, fingers crossed, witness a butterfly and bird migration.

Speaking of migration, on Tuesday at 6:30 PM, Bird Club will meet at the Collins Learning Center, but weather permitting, the group will visit the Cove Estuary Preserve. Anyone, from novice to fanatic, interested in birds is welcome and should bring binoculars and cell phone if possible. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

As always, our trails are open all day every day, free of charge. Check the Crossroads website calendar for details.

Ida Bay Preserve
Ida Bay Trails

Upcoming Activities

Thursday, August 31

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals

If you like to garden and are interested in giving our native pollinators a helping hand, Crossroads at Big Creek could use your help! Volunteers are “editing” unwanted plants which will be replaced by native species. We provide the equipment. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


6:30 p.m. Jumping Worms: Biology, Impact & Control of a New Soil Invader

Jumping worms have been found in at least three of Door County’s compost sites. Brad Herrick, Ecologist and Research Program Manager at the UW-Madison Arboretum, will discuss  why it matters that jumping worms have arrived, the long-term ramifications of their arrival, and ways to mitigate their impact and spread. 

After Herrick’s presentation, Sam Koyen, Door County Invasive Species Team Leader, will discuss what is happening in Door County and Josh VanLieshout, Sturgeon Bay City Administrator, will discuss the City’s plan of action.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but advance seating reservations are requested. Those interested can register by clicking the link above.


Friday, September 1

1-3:30 p.m. Hanson House Tours with Labor Day Reminiscences

Crossroads invites the community visit the Hanson House and if they’d like, sit around the kitchen table and over glasses of lemonade, chat about the people who have labored at Crossroads. We are hoping that people who have worked at what now is our Big Creek Preserve, or who knew the people who lived here, or boarded horses here, or picked fruit, caught fish or helped build our buildings…..will share their memories. Or even better, will give us contact information so we can arrange to record oral histories. Free and open to the public.


Saturday, September 2 

9:00 a.m. Habitat Healers

Help heal the earth! Volunteers of all ages are invited to help with our land restoration efforts. Wear clothing and footgear that can get dirty and wet and bring a water bottle. Instruction, equipment, and gloves are provided along with cookies and lemonade at the end! No need to register in advance and all ages are welcome. Meet at the Workshop.


1-3:30 p.m. Hanson House Tours with Labor Day Reminiscences

Crossroads invites the community visit the Hanson House and if they’d like, sit around the kitchen table and over glasses of lemonade, chat about the people who have labored at Crossroads. We are hoping that people who have worked at what now is our Big Creek Preserve, or who knew the people who lived here, or boarded horses here, or picked fruit, caught fish or helped build our buildings…..will share their memories. Or even better, will give us contact information so we can arrange to record oral histories. Free and open to the public.


Sunday, September 3

1-3:30 p.m. Hanson House Tours with Labor Day Reminiscences

Crossroads invites the community visit the Hanson House and if they’d like, sit around the kitchen table and over glasses of lemonade, chat about the people who have labored at Crossroads. We are hoping that people who have worked at what now is our Big Creek Preserve, or who knew the people who lived here, or boarded horses here, or picked fruit, caught fish or helped build our buildings…..will share their memories. Or even better, will give us contact information so we can arrange to record oral histories. Free and open to the public.


Monday, September 4

3:00 p.m. Labor Day at Ida Bay

On the last day of summer, Crossroads will offer a hike at our Ida Bay Preserve, and each hiker will receive a map/brochure that tells the stories of the people who lived and labored at Ida Bay. And perhaps, fingers crossed, witness a butterfly and bird migration. Meet at the Parking Lot at 1195 Canal Road in Sturgeon Bay.


Tuesday, September 5

6:30 p.m. Crossroads Bird Club

Bird Club will meet at the Collins Learning Center, but because migration is probably will be underway, weather permitting, the group will visit the Cove Estuary Preserve. Anyone interested in birds is welcome and should bring binoculars and cell phone if possible. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

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