Kohler-Andrae State Park
|Kohler-Andrae State Park|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Sand dunes at Kohler-Andrae State Park.
|Location||Sheboygan, Wisconsin, United States|
|Area||988 acres (400 ha)|
|Governing body||Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources|
Kohler-Andrae State Park comprises two adjacent Wisconsin state parks located in the Town of Wilson, a few miles south of the city of Sheboygan. They are managed as one unit. Terry Andrae State Park, established in 1927, and John Michael Kohler State Park, established in 1966, total 988 acres (4.00 km2). The parks contain over two miles (3 km) of beaches and sand dunes along the shore of Lake Michigan, with woods and wetlands away from the water. The Black River flows through the parks.
The park protects threatened plants.
The land which is now Terry Andrae State Park is sandy, so it could not be used by early European immigrants for growing crops or grazing cattle. Frank Theodore (Terry) Andrae was the president of Milwaukee's Julius Andrae and Sons' Electric Supply Company. He purchased 92 acres (37 ha) in 1924 from a retired fisherman and later added another 30 acres (12 ha). He built a two-story house which overlooked Lake Michigan in the present campgrounds. This, their second house, was used to entertain guests. Mrs. Andrae hired forestry consultants to reforest their property. After Mr. Andrae died in 1927, Elsbeth Andrae donated the 122 acres (49 ha) to the State of Wisconsin in memory of her husband Terry. Terry Andrae State Park opened in 1928.
In April 1966, Kohler Company donated 280 acres (110 ha) immediately north of Terry Andrae State Park to the state of Wisconsin. It was named John Michael Kohler State Park in memory of the founder of the company.
The 402 acres (163 ha) were expanded to almost 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) by acquisitions of neighboring properties. Although the two units are considered separate adjacent properties, they are managed as a single unit by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. A citizen's support group called Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park was formed in 1987 to raise funds which are used for nature programming and development projects such as a handicap-accessible cabin.
Directly north of the state park, the Kohler company has received one of several required permits from the DNR to clear as much as 160 acres of forest, which may affect as much as 80 acres of protected wetlands, in order to construct an 18-hole golf course along the shore of Lake Michigan.   Challenges from local residents and environmental activists have caused the proposal to be delayed and modified because of concerns over the fragility of the neighboring ecosystems.
Activities related to Lake Michigan include fishing, boating, and swimming. There are no boat launching ramps or docks at the park. The lake contains dozens of species of fish including trout and salmon. Inland activities include hiking and biking.
The park contains two nature trails and three hiking trails. The Creeping Juniper Nature Trail is a half mile long trail on a cordwalk through the rolling sand dunes by Sanderling Nature Center. The Woodland Dunes Nature Trail is a one mile (1.6 km) trail through forested rolling dunes. It contains interpretive signs to identify and describe trees. It is accessed by the campgrounds. The Dunes Cordwalk has a half mile north and 1.5-mile (2.4 km) south portions on a wooden cordwalk through rolling dunes parallel to Lake Michigan. The Black River Trail is a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) long grass trail at the northwest section of the park. It is accessed north of the park on County Highway V. It passes through open fields, woodlands, and evergreen forests. Horses and mountain bikes are allowed on the trail. Black River Marsh Boardwalk is a quarter mile boardwalk through a wetland. It is accessed near site 48.
Facilities at the park include a bath house, campgrounds, roads, and trails. There are 105 family and two group campsites in the park as of 2008. Thirty more family campsites are scheduled to be opened in 2009. One campsite consists of an authentic Native American tepee which is available for rent.
Sanderling Nature Center
The Sanderling Nature Center is located in the northern area of the park. Exhibits focus on the plants and animals found in the park, the natural history of the Great Lakes, and the park's history. The center is open from May through October, and features live animals on display, an auditorium, and an observation deck with a view of Lake Michigan.
- "Kohler-Andrae State Park Visitor Guide: Park and Area Provide Many Things To Do". Wisconsin State Parks System. 2008. p. 2.
- "One Mile: A chronicle of Wisconsin places". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. December 27, 2003. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
- "Kohler-Andrae State Park Visitor Guide: Naturally Air Conditioned Park Offers Sand, Surf, Sun and Fun". Wisconsin State Parks System. 2008. p. 2.
- Buchholz, Jim (2008). "Kohler-Andrae State Park Visitor Guide: Welcome to Kohler-Andrae State Park". Wisconsin State Parks System. p. 1.
- "Officials discussed disciplining worker who released records". Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- "Kohler golf course proposal - Wisconsin DNR". dnr.wi.gov. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
- "Friends of the Black River Forest" (PDF).
- "Wisconsin DNR approves wetlands permit for Kohler golf course on Lake Michigan shore". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
- "Proposed Kohler golf course remains in limbo after annexation vote put on hold". Green Bay Press Gazette. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- "Kohler-Andrae State Park Visitor Guide: Trails". Wisconsin State Parks System. 2008. p. 4.
- "Kohler-Andrae State Park Visitor Guide: Winter Activities". Wisconsin State Parks System. 2008. p. 3.
- Barrett, Rick (July 25, 2008). "Wisconsin's boating season hits rough waters in bad economy". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
- "Kohler-Andrae State Park Visitor Guide: Camping in the Park". Wisconsin State Parks System. 2008. p. 5.
- http://www.friendsofkohler-andrae.com/Sanderling%20Ctr..htm Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park
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