Monthly Archives: April 2018

Suburban Soles Guided Nature Walks

 Join “Suburban Soles”, supported by the Friends of Grant Park, as we walk thru beautiful Grant Park on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month (May-September). Focusing on various topics, we will be guided by knowledgeable facilitators who will educate and teach us about nature and the surrounding environments we explore. Topics include, tree and wildflowers identification, the history of Grant Park, climate change concepts and the importance of native ecosystems.
Most walks start at 10 am and last about an hour and a half, traveling about 1.5 miles on average. Locations vary, so find the events on facebook, or ask at the South Milwaukee Rec Department about event details and dates. Lace up your shoes, put on your thinking caps, and let’s explore beautiful Grant Park together!


May 12th “The Long Flight Home” – Explore the Habitat Welcoming the Migration of Birds

8am – GPS Willoway Grant Park 207 S Lake Dr.

With millions of  feathered ones returning north from their winter grounds in Central & South America, we gather to witness this nearly 14,000 year old rite of Spring on Mother’s Day. Our Lake Michigan flyway affords a unique flight path and rest stop. Join bird enthusiasts Betsy Abert & Rita Flores Wiskowski in spotting colorful warblers, flycatchers, and raptors large and small. Binoculars, comfy shoes, and a rimmed hat will be helpful.

May 26th – “Bloom Where You Are Planted” – Witness Native Wildflowers
10am – GPS Mill Hill – 601 Milwaukee ave. South Milwaukee

US Forest Service eastern region botanist, Sierra Dawkins leads us on this exciting wildflower walk with identification of Native woodland species.. Bring your walking shoes, curiosity and a good attitude! All backgrounds welcome!

June 9th – “Nature thru the Lens”- Observe Nature thru Photography
10am – GPS Grant Park Area 5

For those who share interest in the art of photography, or for those who just want to get lost in the wonder of it all, join local wildlife photographer Todd Leech as he guides us thru the beauty of nature and teaches us how to observe our surroundings. We will discuss what we see while learning about some of the advanced photo techniques Todd has used in the past to capture the best shots possible.

June 23rd – “Gentle Giants of Grant Park” – Identify & Learn About the Trees of the Park
10am – GPS Grant Park Area 5

Do you know the difference between a hickory and a maple?  Where are all the ash trees? What is a “native” tree? How many butterflies eat an oak? Put on your hiking shoes and thinking caps, and join Milwaukee Area Technical College horticulture instructor, Delisa White, for answers to these questions and more.  Come see the forest and identify the trees!

July 14th – “Permaculture Home” – Learn about Permaculture & Native Ecosystems
10am – GPS 1002 Sycamore ave. South Milwaukee

Calling home gardeners! The Edible landscape is calling!! Let’s talk about integrating native species to rebuild a self-sustaining ecosystem in our home landscapes!  Join Bryce Ruddock, co-author of Integrated Forest Gardening: the Complete Guide to Polyculture and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems, while walking through his own landscape developed with Permaculture design concepts.

July 28th – “Echos from the Past” – Discover Histories of the Seven Bridges & Wulff Lodge
10am – GPS Grant Park Area 5

Put on your hiking shoes and join us as this week’s Suburban Soles adventure will focus on the history of the Seven Bridges area.  Local historian Nels Monson will be your guide for this fact-filled tour.  Wander through the picturesque ravines as we visit the site of the Grant Park Tourist Camp, the original beach area, and the home of Frederick C. Wulff – the man whose vision and dedication led to the creation of this delightful public treasure.  This tour is sure to please anyone interested in the history of Grant Park.

August 11th – “Nature’s Superheroes” – Support the Importance of Pollinators
10am – GPS Mill Hill – 601 Milwaukee ave. South Milwaukee

What do bats, bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, and hummingbirds have in common?  All of them have the power of pollination! Join us as we celebrate these sometimes small but mighty creatures that play a large part in keeping our ecosystem healthy.  This hike will be led by Wehr Nature Center Naturalist, Brooke Gilley.

August 25th – “Let the River Run Thru You” – Study the Ecosystem of the Oak Creek
10am – GPS Mill Hill – 601 Milwaukee ave. South Milwaukee

Jan Marsh, EPA watershed expert, will lead a walk along the Oak Creek channel.  We will talk about the watershed landscape which surrounds the creek and the impacts of human activity in the area. We will also discuss how the creek corridor handles flood events, how those have changed over time, and how the stream has adapted to those changes. We will also look at features along the main stream channel and how they impact water quality, fish, and other aquatic organisms.

September 8th – “Explore the Great Ravine” – Restore our Natural Areas
10am – GPS Grant Park Area 5

We will explore Grant Park’s ravines, one of Lake Michigan’s unique ecosystems. Traverse the ravine trails with Milwaukee County Parks Natural Areas Coordinator, Brian Russart to learn about ravine ecology and restoration activities that are being undertaken to preserve ravines within the park.

September 22nd – “The Tides, They are A-Changin’” – Be Aware of Climate Change
10am GPS Grant Park Beach Parking Lot

Michael Timm leads the non profit organization “Milwaukee Water Stories” where he uses interactive maps, apps, and local storytelling to engage the public about the role green infrastructure can play in co-creating a resilient future.  Join us on this climate changing focus walk, as we study the land and waterscape, discussing how Grant and Warnimont Park’s bluffs and ravines have dramatically changed after recent intense rain events and why more frequent intense storms like these continue to hit the Midwest causing detrimental effects.

Spring Beach Clean Up

The Friends of Grant Park are grateful for the great participation from the community for our Beach Clean up.

Saturday, April 21st, 9 am to noon

We had 18 participants, and collected a total of 122 lbs. of trash. We recycled most of the glass bottles, aluminum cans and a sizable amount of plastic bottles. Alas, we did not collect any rays of sunshine…

Pictured above: L to R, Mary Holtz, Jody Johnson, Lynn Crawford, Brian McKinley, and Adam Brzezicki; also Anwyn, Chris, and Fran Wargolet. Pics provided by Pam Uhrig.