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New Escarpment Park To Feature Interpretive Signage, Direct Visitors To Various County Sites

ELLISON BAY, WI, October XX, 2023 – The Greater Escarpment Organization of Door County (GEO-DC) is putting its efforts toward redeveloping the site at 11876 Highway 42, Ellison Bay, into an interpretive park that educates visitors about Door County’s geological wonder and engages them in the discovery of escarpment sites around the peninsula.

The pivot from earlier plans to build a brick-and-mortar museum on the site was made by the GEO-DC board after considering how best to fulfill the organization’s mission and make the best use of a spectacular view of the escarpment and Green Bay waters, according to Nancy Goss, GEO-DC founder member of board president.

 The Niagara Escarpment is a unique geological formation that stretches 1,000+ miles from New York State, into Ontario, Canada, across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and down through Door County. It was formed over millions of years as layers of limestone, shale and dolomite eroded, yielding the impressive cliffs and bluffs seen throughout the peninsula today.

“This natural marvel profoundly defines Door County. It is literally the land we walk on and a key reason many people are attracted to the area’s natural beauty,” Goss said.

GEO-DC’s newly envisioned Escarpment Park would serve as an informal educational hub and launch point for tourists and residents to explore the area’s many naturally occurring escarpment sites. This would be accomplished through interpretive signage with information about geology, flora, fauna, local cultures, economy and the environment.

“Interpretive parks have broad appeal and cater to a diverse range of visitors,” Goss said. “Through thoughtful and well-designed interpretive signage, we’ll offer people inspiration and information, and the convenience of discovering the escarpment at their convenience.”

Door Bluff Headlands, Cave Point, Newport State Park, Potawatomi State Park and Peninsula State Park along with many county and town parks and nonprofit-owned nature areas are among the many escarpment viewing sites throughout Door County.

“We are firmly grounded in our mission to educate and engage people with the escarpment. We expect Escarpment Park to foster a deeper connection to the land and create a sense of stewardship towards Door County’s environment and history,” Goss added.

In addition to interpretive signage, improvements to the approximately half-acre park site would include an Escarpment Park entry sign, gravel parking area and native landscaping.

Grant applications to help fund the site’s improvements are pending. Initial cleanup and clearing of debris from the site to make way for the park was completed earlier this month.

GEO-DC is working toward an early summer 2024 unveiling of the park.