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RACINE, KENOSHA COUNTY — The Bong Naturalist Association (BNA), a nonprofit and friend’s group of Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, is striving to save 132 acres of land near the state recreation area in Kansasville, Wis.

Standing between the group from purchasing it is $20,707.

The total cost of the land is $1,352,054, but for those who visit the state recreational area, the land is priceless.

Located East of Wolf Lake, the property in question surrounds Highway 75 and borders the park.

While the land currently does not belong to the state recreation area, BNA will be donating the land to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) if the funds are obtained.

A map showcasing the land to be acquired by The Bong Naturalist Association (BNA). The property in question is located East of Wolf Lake. The land surrounds Highway 75 and borders the park. – Credit: Bong Naturalist Association

The alternative

“If you are a regular visitor to Richard Bong State Recreation Area you’re likely to be familiar with the vast network of walking trails, and trails for horseback, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. You probably stood at the edge of Wolf Lake and looked toward the East where you saw water, cattails, and perhaps a silhouette of a distant hiker or a person riding horseback.

“Behind all this was a backdrop of tall mature trees, you might have felt you were a thousand miles from anywhere. Now close your eyes and imagine that same scene, except replaced everything you just saw with a row of houses, boat docks, garages, and bright area lights mounted on tall wooden poles,” says the release.

The change in scenery is closer than people think.

Members of BNA are hopeful for the community’s support to help lock in the land and save their local treasure.

Donating the land to the DNR

“When the owners decided to sell the property, the timing wasn’t right for the DNR to purchase it. The Bong Naturalist Association (BNA) teamed up with Ducks Unlimited to raise the money, acquire the land, and donate it back to the DNR,” says a release from the association.

The group was originally faced with a deadline of Jan. 12. However, an extension has been granted to the organization to acquire the remaining funds by Feb. 2023.

Donations are currently being accepted on Paypal.

“Once into PayPal, you can use your own credit card or bank debit card if you don’t have a PayPal account. For larger donations or to make other arrangements, please send an email to,” says the release.

In addition to donations from the public, grants and donations from the Federal and State Governments have been obtained. Local businesses, private donations, foundations and direct contributions have also been given to the Bong Naturalist Association to help save the land from being sold.

Bong Naturalist Association

To learn more about the Bong Naturalist Association, visit its website or Facebook page. Additional information about Richard Bong State Recreation Area can be found online.

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