UW-Green Bay natural area in Door County is subject of new book
GREEN BAY - Toft Point, A Legacy of People and Pines, tells the history of a significant natural area on Lake Michigan in Door County, and much more. The new book by Roy Lukes, chief naturalist and administrator of the Ridges Sanctuary in Bailey's Harbor from 1964 to 1990, is published by Nature-Wise, Egg Harbor.
Toft Point is part of the 743-acre Toft Point Natural Area administered by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The land bears the family name of Thomas Toft, a Danish immigrant who in 1871 got a job as a stone quarry foreman on the point. In 1874, he married Julia Anne Panter, the daughter of English immigrants, and she joined him at the quarry. The following year, Thomas Toft began acquiring land on the point, and much of it remained in possession of Toft heirs until The Nature Conservancy purchased it in 1967 and turned over its management to the Cofrin Arboretum Program at UW-Green Bay.
Lukes tells how the land might have been Jensen Point - Toft's actual family name - had Thomas and his brothers not decided when they arrived that Wisconsin had too many Jensens, and took the name Toft in honor of their home region in Denmark.
Thomas Toft and his wife had eight children and though the family moved to Bailey's Harbor in 1891, they not only kept the property on the lake shore, but maintained a strong connection to it. Thomas died in 1919, and the following year, in order to generate income, daughter Emma Toft and her mother began operating a rustic resort at Toft Point. Over the next 62 years, until her death in 1982, Emma Toft became irrevocably identified with teaching about and preserving nature through her efforts at Toft Point and her work on the board at the Ridges Sanctuary.
Lukes incorporates newspaper items, letters, academic research, and reminiscences about and by Toft family members, as well as his own recollections to provide a detail-rich narrative. He even includes a few of Emma Toft's recipes.
In a chapter devoted to the natural history of Toft Point, Lukes explains how unique its plant life is in Northeast Wisconsin: the nearest location with equal diversity of boreal (northern) plant species is halfway to James Bay in northern Canada. Another chapter tells about the native American inhabitants of the region before Europeans came.
Readers interested in more information about either natural or human history at Toft Point will find the appendices useful. They include descriptions of the plant communities, lists of common plants and animals, a list of natural history studies done at Toft Point, a history of land transactions at Toft Point, the Toft family tree, and an essay about early Bailey's Harbor. A list of references and a bibliography provide leads for those who might want to do more reading.
Lukes dedicates the book to the Toft family, "pioneers in land preservation, who understood and respected the land to which they belonged."
At the end of the book, Lukes observes how much Baileys Harbor and Door County have changed since Thomas Toft arrived there. But, he observes, "Today, 1998, Toft Point is a lot like it was 126 years ago in 1870. In fact many of the trees that were fairly large then are even bigger today....Wildflowers that bloomed and birds that nested from year to year continue to do so, and the mosquitoes and deer flies are just as pesky now as they always have been."
The author, a Kewaunee native, has taught in Madison, Wisconsin Rapids, and Door County school systems and conducts nature workshops for children and adults throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Lukes is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and has a master's degree in education from UW-Madison. He writes a regular column carried in several newspapers.
For information about the book's availability: Nature-Wise, P. O. Box 105, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 54209.
(98-111 / 31 July 1998 / VCD)
Meredith to perform in Edinburgh recital during international festival
GREEN BAY - Mezzo-soprano Sarah Meredith of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay music faculty will travel to Scotland next week to present a recital of American art song music during what is described as one of the largest cultural festivals in the world.
Meredith will perform Saturday evening, Aug. 15, at Augustine United Church at the George IV Bridge in downtown Edinburgh.
The city in Scotland hosts up to 500 performances a day of music, film and theatre during the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The August festivals attract artists from around the world and span styles from classical to avante garde.
Meredith, an associate professor of voice and music, joined the UW-Green Bay music faculty in 1988 and has since performed as soloist and recitalist throughout the Midwest and traveled extensively to perform and pursue research in Eastern and Western Europe. She will be accompanied by pianist and composer Jennifer Barker of the faculty at Christopher Newport College, Newport News, Va. Barker is a native of Scotland who will perform in recital at UW-Green Bay this fall.
(98-110 / 3 Aug. 1998 / CS)
Eight faculty members promoted
GREEN BAY - The UW System Board of Regents has approved promotions for eight faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Jeffrey Entwistle and Kenneth J. Fleurant advanced to full professor from associate professor. A scene designer, Entwistle is a member of the Communication and the Arts and Theatre departments and has served each as chairperson. Entwistle joined the faculty in 1984. An advocate for the arts in the community, he also designs sets for the Pamiro Opera Company. Fleurant, who came to the University in 1970, teaches French language and culture. He is a member of the Humanistic Studies and Modern Languages faculties and also has chaired both units. Fleurant won the University's award for excellence in teaching in 1981.
Six individuals were promoted to associate professor from probationary appointments as assistant professors. They are Scott R. Furlong, Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science; Barbara Law and Joan E. Thron, both members of the Education faculty; John M. Lyon, Natural and Applied Sciences and Chemistry; Brian W. Sutton, Humanistic Studies and English; and Denise Sweet, Humanistic Studies, American Indian Studies, and English.
(98-109 / 4 Aug. 1998 / VCD)