APPLETON, Wis., May 28, 2008 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — According to a preservation group called PreserveCW, the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, unless convinced otherwise, may sell an ecologically diverse camp property in Waushara County to commercial developers. Consideration of a sale has begun just five months after ceasing operation of Camp Webb at the Wautoma, Wisconsin property. Camp Webb had been a religiously-based camping program there since 1961. The camp property of 135 acres contains a diverse mixture of deciduous woods, pine woods, beachfront, swampland, grasslands and prairie fields.
The diocese’s Executive Council discussed the possibility of sale in early May after receiving a report from diocesan officials who had met with a commercial developer to discuss potential development of condominiums. A formal vote to put the camp up for sale is the first agenda item for June 5th Executive Council meeting. After learning of the situation, PreserveCW, a group formed to preserve the camp, asked supporters to contact Bishop Steven Miller and Executive Council members to ask that they seriously consider non-commercial options for the camp before considering sale to commercial interests.
“We don’t question any right of the Diocese to sell the camp” stated Matthew Payne, Chair of the PreserveCW Steering Committee and former Camp Webb board member, staff member and camper. “Our concern is the Diocese’s fiduciary duty, especially as a church and not-for-profit corporation in the State of Wisconsin. To consider sale to commercial interests before giving due consideration to non-commercial options is both irresponsible and careless and may have possible legal ramifications. Until and unless the Diocese of Milwaukee has exhausted all avenues of non-commercial options, it should not consider sale of the camp to any commercial interest.”
Steering Committee member Connie Ott who has been connected to the camp since 1966 is also a current member of the Executive Council. She noted that, “This ecologically sensitive land should be preserved for generations to come. Any hope for preservation would be destroyed by a sale to any commercial interest.”
PreserveCW was also recently informed that a proposal it made to lease the property to resume camp operations was rejected categorically by the Diocese. In a letter dated May 14th, the Diocese provided the reason that it did not consider it in their best interest to lease to “any other group or organization.”
For more information or to request an interview, contact Matthew Payne at (920) 279-6267. Also visit http://www.preservecw.org.