MEQUON, Wis. — An order of Catholic sisters has sold a 155-acre preserve used as a quiet retreat outside Milwaukee to a regional land trust for a little more than $1 million.

Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother transferred ownership of the Spirit Lake Preserve to the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust on Friday. Land trust executive director Shawn Graff tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ( ) that the property consisting of a pond, wetlands and a forest will be used as a nature preserve.

Pat Groth, a spokeswoman for the Oshkosh-based order, says there has been a decline in regional members, and retreat is costly to maintain.

The land trust got a state Stewardship Fund grant of $600,000 to help pay for its purchase.