Lee Traven was humbled and surprised when he won the Door County Community Foundation Philanthropist of the Year award in 2011. DCCF President Bret Bicoy said he had never met a more deserving recipient.
In 1935, when Lee Traven was 5 or 6 years old, his mother and father, Olivia and Fred, moved to Guy Street, just a couple blocks off of Wisconsin 57 in Baileys Harbor. Nearby was a pristine area of land known locally as the Ridges, a place that soon became more like a second back yard for the little boy.
His mother became active in the development of what two years later would become The Ridges Sanctuary, Wisconsin's first land trust.
"Back then there was no nature center, so as people would come to town they would knock on Olivia's front door, asking for a tour," explained Steve Leonard, executive ...