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Special Events

In addition to field trips, the Festival of Nature hosts a variety of social, immersive experiences. Keep scrolling to learn more about this years events. 

Festival Keynote Dinner

Friday, May 26th, 4:30PM

Location: About Thyme Farm, 8425 County F, Baileys Harbor

Fee: $40 per person


Reception & Beverage Service: 4:30pm

Dinner: 5:15pm

enjoy a delectable family style dinner with dessert perpared by About Thyme Catering

Welcome and General Announcements: 6:15pm

Keynote Presentation: 6:30pm

Limit: 185

Reserve your spot by May 12th, 2023

Keynote Presentation

The Ridges Sanctuary Legacy

We cannot look at the future without honoring the past, and those that laid the framework for the preservation of the critical natural spaces found in Baileys Harbor and all of Door County. As Wisconsin’s first land trust, The Ridges Sanctuary was a pioneer for land protection, education and scientific activities. For 86 years, individuals, communities, botanists, landscape architects, teachers, lawyers, naturalists, and more have come together and nurtured an organization that leads in environmental protection.


We will blend past – present – future during this special keynote discussion. How did we get here? What is the inspiration for ongoing preservation? What is the impact of The Ridges today? Where do we go from here?


We will honor the legacy of those that brought us here, celebrate the impact of The Ridges today, and look forward to the vision that will take us into the next 20 years.

To tell this story we will be joined by Charlotte Lukes and Mark Martin, as well as Ridges board, staff and community members to lift up the legacy of The Ridges Sanctuary.

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Mark Martin

Art Exhibit and
Artist Reception

opening Thursday, may 25th
Artist reception, 4:00-6:00pm

on exhibit:
When You Tug on a Leaf...

Works by Rhonda Nass and Rick Nass

What happens when you tun on a leaf? John Muir once said, “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” We continue to explore our theme of Connectivity with the captivating and delightful artwork of Rhonda and Rick Nass. The two UW-Madison classmates married the day after Rhonda received her degree in Art Education. Along with Rick and his BA in Art, they created Ampersand, a design and illustration studio in Madison. After 45 years, and a few art career moves, they continue to paint and draw from their home studio in Prairie du Sac overlooking the beautiful Wisconsin River. 


Mousy, Rick Nass
"To me, there’s a connectivity to thought, action, and consequence in the world. However small it may be, it affects the world and all in it. My goal in my artwork is for the viewer to enjoy my art at the simplest level, when appropriate smile at what I’ve drawn and hopefully think about what else may be the reason I’ve drawn it.” - Rick Nass


Nature's Laundry Line, Rhonda Nass
“My hope is that the joy permeating the process of creating the works will show itself in each piece and become contagious for you as you take it in and bring beauty to your world.” - Rhonda Nass

Endangered Beauty: Orchids of the Chiwaukee-Waukegan Beach Ridge Plain

Works by Kathleen Marie Garness

Kathleen Marie Garness has her orchid paintings featured by the Smithsonian Institution on their native orchid conservation website and has widely exhibited, including at the Smithsonian and Kew Gardens London. She is currently a scientific affiliate with the Field Museum Chicago and a science and conservation research affiliate with Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. Her botanical artwork is published on the Field Museum’s and Conservation Research Institute’s websites; she recently was awarded the Juliet Kirby Grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists to study and illustrate the orchids of the Chiwaukee-Waukegan Beach-Ridge Plain, ridge and swale habitat historically consistent with that at the Ridges. She enjoys teaching people to see plants and their ecosystems as having intrinsic value, and even as teachers to those who might listen.

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Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens - Tall Yellow Lady's Slipper, Kathleen Marie Garness

20-year vision open house

Sunday, May 28th, 10:00am-1:00pm

In 2022, The Ridges Sanctuary set forth on a journey to develop a 20-year vision. Since the opening of the Cook-Albert Fuller Nature Center in 2015, The Ridges has felt an immense pull from our community to be a leader in preservation, environmental education, and research. With growing programs, experiences, acquisitions, and more, The Ridges Sanctuary Board of Directors knew it was time to look comprehensively at where we are, and where we can go in the future. We’ve worked diligently over the last 12 months to listen to our stakeholders; our board, volunteers, membership, staff, neighbors, network, community and friends, to design a future that inspires and guides this organization to be a renowned leader and partner that informs and inspires action for environmental protection of the Sanctuary and beyond.


Through the entire planning process, one of the most common themes is the legacy of The Ridges Sanctuary and the individuals that dedicated important time and talents into establishing the Sanctuary as we know it today. Every decision made; past, present and future imprints on the long-lasting impact of this organization. Through the establishment of our 20-year vision, we are committing to important, sustainable, and inspiring work in preservation, education and research to ensure that future generations will experience the natural world as we do today. We are excited to unveil this 20-year vision with you at the Festival of Nature Keynote Dinner, and share our excitement with you during the open house. 

Sunday, May 28th, 10:00AM-1:00PM

So, we unveiled the master plan. Now what? Join us on for an open house to explore the master plan initiatives.

Ridges Sanctuary board and staff will be present to celebrate our vision, share our excitement, and answer any questions you may have. 


Can’t make it on May 28th? We will be offering an additional open house onThursday, June 22nd, from 4:00PM-7:00PM.

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