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 declines, 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!

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.

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