Today we share the sad news of the passing of one of our Land Trust supporters, Erv Dohmen. Many will recall Erv and Jane Dohmen were the 2015 recipients of the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Pat Wilmeth Stewardship Award. Below is the award description highlighting Jane and Erv's many contributions to OWLT and Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, in particular.
Erv Dohmen's full obituary may be found here: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jsonline/
To read Jane Dohmen’s full obituary visit https://www.poolefh.com/dohmen-jane-m
I first had the opportunity to visit with Erv and Jane in the spring of 2017. In addition to hearing about their great love of the outdoors, the most memorable take away from my afternoon spent visiting in the Dohmen's in their home along Lake Michigan was the sincere and gentle affection Erv and Jane had for one another. Over sixty years of marriage and these two were very in love. May we all be so lucky!
We are grateful for the Dohmen family’s support of conservation and happy to have known this incredible couple whose visionary conservation leadership will benefit generations to come.
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Executive Director
When OWLT acquired Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in 2008 it came with a few structures that are not part of your typical nature preserve. One of those structures was a clubhouse. Not sure about a future re-use of the old building, OWLT shut it down for its first winter and began to contemplate its use. That is when good folks like Noel Cutright and Marjie Tomter came forward with some crazy ideas like operating a bird observatory or hosting an annual event to celebrate the treasured public spaces in Ozaukee County. Staff started thinking about housing interns in the attached apartment. Partner organizations such as the Department of Natural Resources, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin Coastal Management and Gathering Waters inquired about using the building for events and programs.
The need was there, but there was just one problem – the roof and many of the windows leaked, gutters were damaged and the inside walls were dark and in need of a fresh coat of paint. That’s when Erv and Jane Dohmen stepped forward.
As neighbors to the preserve Erv and Jane were elated that the former golf course was protected from development and slated to become a major migratory stop over site. They became excited about the potential of the building and were confident that it had a viable future. But Erv and Jane knew there was no future for the building if something wasn’t done to stabilize it quickly. They stepped forward to make sure the roof and window repairs were taken care of and that a fresh coat of paint was applied to the walls of the main level.
Today the building serves as the headquarters for the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory and Treasures of Oz, houses dozens of interns and AmeriCorps crew members each summer and hosts many conservation programs and workshops sponsored by OWLT and partner organizations.
And if the Dohmen’s generosity in stabilizing the building was not enough, they were also instrumental in helping find and commission artist Don Rambardt to design and build the handsome sign that now graces the entrance to Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.