Pitcher plants, mosses, buckbeans, orchids, cranberries, sedges, leather leafs, moccasin flowers, blueberries, lady slippers and sundews are among the natural wonders found at VanderBloemen Bog, owned by Silver Lake College.
The 24-acre parcel of quaking bog surrounded by woodlands is situated in the end moraine of the Valders stage of Wisconsin glaciation in the heart of Manitowoc County.
The land was purchased in 1965 thanks to efforts by Herbert VanderBloemen, the first conservation warden in Manitowoc County, and generous donations from individuals, conservation clubs and other organizations. The bog, named for VanderBloemen, was designated a State Natural Area in 1966.
Surrounding the bog are white pine, tamarack and black spruce. Farther out are black ash, red maple and white birch.
Birds include the ovenbird, goldfinch, robin, yellow-bellied sapsucker, wild turkey, wood thrush, veery, northern oriole, eastern bluebird, least flycatcher, white-breasted nuthatch, and crested flycatcher.
The bog also is home to the frog, garter snake, white-tailed deer, snail, cotton-tailed rabbit, raccoon, red fox, butterfly and the ubiquitous mosquito.
Silver Lake College uses the land for class trips and scientific research.