Matt Collins receives Outstanding Young Professional of the Year award

Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association Park Section Announces 2014 Award Winners including:

Matthew Collins, Unit Coordinator 

Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture 

Matt worked to develop a pilot program that offers underprivileged youth an opportunity to experience career options within the Milwaukee County Parks system. This partnership with the Milwaukee Job Corps, a federally funded campus offered to financially underprivileged youth seeking to obtain experience with a skilled trade after graduating high school. This program has not only provided opportunity and experience for the participants, it has provided Milwaukee County with park services in a non-costly manner.

This past summer, Milwaukee Job Corps workers installed the lion’s share of the new fencing in  Grant Park along the top edge of the seven bridges ravine.

Please join the Friends of Grant Park in congratulating Matt, the 2014 Park Section Outstanding Young Professional of the Year.

South Milwaukee Middle School Student plant donation

We are very fortunate to have the students of Ms. Chris Bosetti’s class helping Grant Park with their generous donation of five flats of native perennials that have been used to enhance the habitat for pollinating insects and migrating birds. A number of the plants were used in the creation of storm water runoff beds (rain gardens), and others will be included in natural areas development as the park continues to reduce its mowing schedule. Thank you, Middle Schoolers!

Briggs & Stratton Lends a Hand

Grant Park was lucky to get pampered on May 17th by the generous folks at Briggs & Stratton, who came by the carload to help spruce up the park. The weather was sunny, if a bit brisk in the morning, but warmed up as the day passed. Gathering at the area #5 pavilion, the crew was briefed on various chores needing their attention that day. On their “to do” list: painting area #5 pavilion and picnic tables; weeding and planting native species in a rain garden; sweeping and clearing stairs in Seven Bridges ravine; and spray-painting the lines in parking lots.

When a large group of volunteers all work together, fun happens, and the park and the community it serves all shine. Thank you!

Workers choose their tools for the task(s) at hand.

Workers choose their tools for the task(s) at hand.

Sweeping and clearing all those stairs was no small job.

Sweeping and clearing all those stairs was no small job.

Table 38, 39, 40... but who's counting?

Table 38, 39, 40… but who’s counting?

Lines in the parking lot were faintly visible before painting.

Lines in the parking lot were faintly visible before painting.

Spring Migration Birdwalks

We begin our weekly “Sundays in Spring” Migration Birdwalks on Sunday, April 27th. We will conclude the walks on Memorial Day weekend. We meet at the north end of Grant Park via the Wiloway Park entrance at Picnic area parking Lot 8 at 8 a.m. Weather permitting, the walks will be canceled in the event of a predicted morning of rainfall. Bring binoculars. Brimmed hats helpful. Long pants and comfortable closed shoes are recommended. All ages and experiences are welcome, with the note that youngsters should be able to maintain a modicum of quiet. This is a passive activity, but often we are joined by skilled birders who are happy to share what they know of identification, both visual and in song. Contact Betsy if you have any questions: 414-531-9249

Spring Clean Up: Do Your Part

Now that the snow has melted, we can see the trash that was under the snow, left behind from last season. Yuck. Please consider lending a hand on Saturday, April 26th, at 8 a.m. as the Friends of Grant Park and Friends of the Mill Pond will he handing out trash bags at the beach house. Trash cleanup from our end will be focused along the beach and up through the parkway. If folks have their own gloves, that is recommended. And if you wish to do cigarette butt duty at the beach lot, a fine tined rake will help in that regard. Any folks with waders are welcome to get down into the shallows of the creek to haul out refuse unless the creek is running high and fast as it did after recent storms.

Please consider Spring Cleanups In The Parks sponsored by Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Riverkeepers. Other locations for clean up in South Milwaukee starting at 9 a.m. are:
First District: Oak Creek Parkway/North Chicago
Second District: South Milwaukee Fire Department
Third District: City Hall
Fourth District: 16th and Rawson (Oak Creek Parkway)

A clean park is a happy park.

Many thanks

It takes a village to support a local parks’ friends group… Thank you to all who attended, volunteered, donated or advertised for the Pullin’ o’ the Green Irish party on March 15th. We had a great turnout helped by acceptable weather, and sold every ticket. The Garlic Mustard Pickers provided the musical sparkle. The guests were tempted by an impressive array of raffle prizes. We had 12 lucky winners. Raffle prizes included gift passes to Irish Fest and Milwaukee County Parks attractions, gift baskets with donations from Fromm’s Pet Food, Pink Bunny Games, Hills of Clay pottery, South Milwaukee Car Care, Chicago Avenue Liquor and Friends of the Mill Pond.

Special thanks to the National Honor Society at South Milwaukee High School and to Boy Scout Troops no. 235 and 252 for providing waiters for the evening: Scouts Jacob, Chris, Keith, Steven, and Danny; NHS students Kim, Allie, Sarena, Monica, Ines, Joel, and Emily. Nice job everyone!

Thanks to Tri-City National Bank and to Pyramax Bank for advertising on their scrolling LED signs.

Advance tickets were available at Nona’s Cafe, Parkway Floral, and Guardian Credit Union allowing guests to pick up theirs anytime during business hours. Again, thank you!

Friends of Grant Park volunteers included the following: Annemarie Adsen, Michael Timm, Jan Marsh, Keith Schulenburg, Jan Schumacher, Kathy Slamka, Nancy Wucherer, Kathy Briesmeister, Marilyn Geiger, Lynn Crawford, Rob Vajagich, Rick Kaiser, Don Lawson, Bobbie Groth, Bob Porth, Becky Wheeler, Jackie Benka, Debby Pizur, Betsy Abert, and Jody Johnson

Without all of you, this would not happen. Thank you all!

Pullin’ o’ the Green Irish Party, March 15th

Don’t miss our annual Irish Party fund raiser, Pullin’ o’ the Green amid the shamrocks at Grant Park Golf clubhouse, 100 E. Hawthorne, South Milwaukee. Inspired by our yearly “Weed-Out!” in April-May, it’s Irish brew, stew and music, too! Join us on Saturday, March 15th for a wee bit of the brew, some corned beef & cabbage, beef stew or potato kale soup. Foot tappin’ tunes provided by the Garlic Mustard Pickers. Raffle prizes, too. There will be two seatings at either 4:30 or 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 adult; $5 children under 12 and include your choice of brew or NA beverage, entree, and dessert. Tickets can be purchased in advance (available Feb. 22 thru March 15) at Nona’s Cafe, Parkway Floral, and Guardian Credit Union in South Milwaukee. For more information, call (414) 764-7262.