The establishment and growth of The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor have been made possible by the late landscape architect Jens Jensen. Now his successful preservation efforts have earned him admission into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame. Jensen initially retired to Ellison Bay in 1935 and established The Clearing Folk School to train landscape artists. In 1937, Jensen and others turned their efforts at some property that Door County had targeted for development. Steve Leonard, Executive Director of The Ridges, says their persistence kept the land that now makes up the Ridges Sanctuary in its natural state.
Prior to coming to Door County Jens Jensen had served as superintendent of the City of Chicago's West Park System and also helped establish the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.