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Guckenberg-Sturm Preserve

Location:​ Winnebago County

Area Protected: 48 Acres


In 2005, Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust purchased the 48 acre Guckenberg-Sturm Preserve, also known as the Stroebe Island Marsh. The Preserve is situated uniquely; it is located along the west shore of Little Lake Butte des Morts and bordered on the north by Mud Creek at the point of its convergence with the Fox River as it travels northeast into Lake Michigan’s largest bay, Green Bay.  The preserve is also adjacent to, as well as on, Stroebe Island.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has classified Mud Creek, the Fox River, and Little Lake Butte des Morts as Areas of Special Natural Resource Interest (ASNRI) waters. Because of this, the Guckenberg-Sturm Preserve is recognized as important opportunity to maintain the health of the water flowing into Lake Michigan.

The marsh and surrounding floodplain forest represents one of the last remaining pristine, open cattail marshes found along the Lower Fox River drainage. This habitat type originally covered thousands of acres throughout the Fox River system, but the dramatic increases in water levels through dam construction and high speed motorized boat traffic, effectively destroyed over 99 percent of the original cattail marsh by 1965. This remaining high quality habitat is now very rare and continues to provide critical food and cover for a myriad of wetland species trying to continue their life cycles surrounded by the pressures of land development and severe habitat destruction.

The importance of this wetland along the Fox River cannot be overstated.  In a 2005 Clean Water Testing Report, it was concluded that this “marsh is a healthy, highly functioning filter for the Fox Valley’s soil and water cycle”. Because the Fox River Valley is one of Wisconsin's most urbanized and industrialized areas, it is important that this wetland maintain its health.While the health of the wetlands is important for people in the area who rely of the Fox River for their drinking water and recreation, the 2005-2015 Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan (WWAP) designates Floodplain Forest Communities and High Quality Wetland Communities as areas of state significance for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SCGN). While some SCGN documented at this site use this habitat for reproduction more use this area as a feeding and migratory staging ground.

Directions to Guckenberg-Sturm Preserve


From the North or South via HWY 41

-Exit HWY 41 at Prospect Rd exit, Cty Rd BB

-Travel east on Prospect Rd (turn right if coming from the south; turn left if coming from the north)

-Turn right (south) onto Northern Rd

-Turn left onto Stroebe Rd and head east until you cross the train tracks

-Preserve sign will be on your left

-Take a right (south) onto W Butte des Morts Beach Rd and park on the gravel shoulder just south of the intersection

-Enter the Preserve by the sign on north side of the road


From the East

-Travel south on HWY 441 to HWY 41 North

-Follow directions above to guide you from HWY 41


From the West

-Take HWY 10 East to HWY CB

-Turn south (right) on HWY CB and turn east (left) on Jacobsen Rd (1st set of stoplights)

-Travel East until you reach Lake St (past stoplights at Cold Spring , through roundabout and over HWY 41)

-Take a sharp left turn onto Lake Street and travel north. Lake St turns into Butte Des Morts Beach Rd as you pass under HWY 441

-Butte Des Morts Beach road ends at Stroebe Rd.

-Park on west side of the road facing south (you will have to turn around)

-Enter the Preserve by the sign on north side of the road



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