Paul Hartman Living Prairie and Gazebo

We are fortunate to have been inspired by a man who had the foresight, ideas, and the drive “to get it done.” He is one of our founders, Paul Hartman. His motto was always “plan the work and work the plan.” We at the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation (BCPF) have followed that philosophy for over 20 years. As Paul’s memory fades, the time is now to honor this extraordinary leader for his contributions not only to BCPF but also as UW Extension/Brown County Horticulturalist for 30 years, co-founder of the Green Bay Botanical Garden, leader for Invasive Plants Removal in Brown County, establishing the N.E.W Master Gardener Program and many more contributions to our community too numerous to mention here.

In July 2021, we unveiled a gorgeous gazebo and a small parking area on over 20 acres of beautiful prairie on an old farm site. Paul Hartman has dedicated his life to increasing the use of native plants and habitat restoration. Our plans were a consequence of his philosophy and we were happy to complete it while he is able to enjoy it.

History of Project Location

Baird Creek Preservation Foundation (BCPF) has restored a farm field into native prairie that is located off of County Highway JJ in the Town of Eaton. It provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including nesting habitat for 26 species of migratory birds. The prairie is filled with native species of wildflowers and grasses which attracts many monarchs to the area each year.

Paul was the one to sound the cry for the 34 acres of pristine old growth forest in the Baird Creek Watershed when he found out that it was to be sold for development. From that initial rallying of concerned citizens, the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation was created as a friend group to the city of Green Bay to protect, preserve, and restore the Baird Creek Watershed and Greenway. Because of Paul and others we still continue carrying out our mission each and every day.

Paul Hartman’s Story

After beginning his career selling encyclopedias in the late 1960s, Paul Hartman enrolled at the UW- Madison, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture. Paul began working as the Brown County UW Horticultural Agent in January 1976. During his 30-year career as the local horticultural agent, Paul became somewhat of a local celebrity, appearing on TV and radio and writing a weekly column in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

In 1995, Paul co-founded the Green Bay Botanical Garden. In 1997, Paul was instrumental in raising the funds to preserve a plot of land set for development on the far east side of Green Bay. This land was encompassed into the Baird Creek Greenway, and the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation was born.

In 1979, Paul helped establish the NEW Master Gardener Program. Paul has touched numerous Northeast Wisconsin organizations with his volunteer efforts and knowledge. In appreciation and honor of Paul’s countless hours to the community, the Foundation wanted to build this gazebo and finish the restoration of the native prairie that is a perfect example of flora and fauna that Paul has championed for all these years. To honor his work we hope people will come and enjoy the birds, wildlife, and beauty of the land.

Thank You to Those Who Have Donated!

Carl Fisher
Ron Tillmann
Janna Zimmerman
Anita Zipperer
Gail Underwood
Steve Lambert
Adreinne Schmitz
James Wall
Mary Rass
Susan Lambert-Tease
Janice Galt
Lois Kania
Peggy Schroeder
Herbert Liebmann through GGBCF
Richard & Shirley Winnes
Edith Everson
Charlie & Kathy Fisk
Susan Garot
Cliff Wall
Alan Nass
Clayton & Rose Smits
John & Joan Mills
Dennis Prusik
Robert & Kay Christman
Judith Ann Knudsen
Susan Roulette
Bay Area Daylily Buds
Mary Carlson
Susan Rohan
William Stevens
Gail Fischer
Ivy Nelson
Sara Ramaker
William & Gail Hanmann
Mike Sprague
Cynthia Mineau
Susan Menkes
Kathleen Pattinati
Margaret Hartman
Margaret G Hartman
Lee Hansen
Jean Hartman
Rosemary Hartman
John & Marvis Hartman
Carole Wood
Hersheberger Family
Give Big
David Parsons
Byron L. Walters
Bud & Victoria Harris
Garden Club of Des Peres
Kathlin & James Sickel
Paul Biebel
Glen Hartman
Sally Hartman
Steve Krings
Van Beavers
Tom Barrie
Laura Hartman
Elizabeth Dunbar
Christopher Dunbar
Al & Lisa Hartman
Steven Herro
Michael Draney
Timothy Rasman
Carol Dost
Karen Ditzman
Roy Lindeman
Paul Baumgart
Mark Callahan
Doug Hartman
Carol De Groot

A Successful Celebration

On Saturday, July 31, 2021, the foundation’s employees, members, board, Hartman family and friends gathered for our 24th annual banquet. This year had a slightly different look and very special meaning as we honored Paul Hartman with the grand opening of the Paul Hartman Living Prairie and Gazebo. Guests were invited to explore the beautifully restored prairie, recently finished gazebo and sign dedicated to Paul. The site also holds a giant metal coneflower sculpture that honors eight of the many founders and pillars of the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation. A large thank you to Kent Hutchison of Hutchison Art & Design for his talent and exceptional work to create all the art and structural pieces in the prairie.

Visit the Site

Map it:
  • Exit Manitowoc Rd from Interstate 43 and get into the left lane immediately.
  • Turn left at the first light (in between Stein’s Garden & Gifts and the McDonald’s). This is Eaton Rd/JJ
  • Stay on this road for about 7 miles
  • You will come to a large curve in the road that curves right and you will see a street sign for Phillips Rd (it goes off to the north) STAY ON JJ
  • Then very shortly you will come to a curve in the road that goes to the left and you will see a street sign that also says Phillips Rd (this road goes to the south) STAY ON JJ
  • Not long after you will drive over a concrete bridge (it’s very small and if you blink you might miss it)
  • Our land is after the bridge on the right hand side. You will see green tree tubes in it (it’s directly across from the white farmhouse)
  • You can pull in to the asphalt driveway in the middle of the tree tubes