Monthly Archives: April 2020

Socially Distant Arbor Day

The friends of Grant Park were very fortunate to receive 200 Quercus rubra/Red Oak saplings donated by Caterpillar, Inc.  Oaks may be the single most important tree in North America for wildlife value. However, even though April 24th was Arbor Day, no one was gathering anywhere to honor the spirit of the day, let alone plant trees.

Quercus rubra

The plan last Fall was to make a tree available to every one of our incredible Weed Out volunteers in Spring 2020 for planting in the areas we have managed to clear (mostly, ahem) of invasive garlic mustard and old-specie Japanese Tree Lilac.  We hoped to help make the connection as to why we even bother with the weeds.  It’s for the trees and the forest that we commit our annual spring efforts to removing invasive species; so it makes sense that we carry forward with a new generation of tree planting, right?

Our problem was obvious: the valuable Oaks arrived last week and we’re presented with the question: how do we spread the task of transplanting them among volunteers who have been instructed to avoid gatherings and stay at home? The answer we found: one planter or family unit at a time using printed “how-to” directions, social distancing, and masks. Several intrepid volunteers from our group agreed to plant in an area recently cleared of a dense growth of the invasive Japanese Tree Lilac which had been spreading via root systems unchecked in our original County Parks nursery for 100 years. Working independently, or as a single unit family group, transplanting was begun on April 26th. We hope to have 200 trees in the ground by May 1st.

Thank you to our family and solo units: John & Peyton; Becky, Rob, George & Peter; Pam & Dave; Betsy, Rick, Deb, Jody and Lynn for their help at this time. We are hopeful our efforts take root, and that flagging for the new small trees will help visitors to the park avoid stepping on them.  

Suburban Soles 2020 Guided Nature Walks Calendar

Suburban Soles is moving forward as a non-FOGP event. Our group is not able to sponsor this activity because of Milwaukee County Parks Covid-19 guidelines. Because of continued public interest, these are the remaining dates. Contact Brian Morrison for further details at 414.588.5134.

These events will be sure to enforce the safer at 6 feet apart guideline. Face masks are strongly encouraged. Please consider others and do not attend this event if you have any suspicion of illness or may have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

July 12, Bloom Where You are Planted, CANCELLED: MATC Horticulture Instructor Delisa White, facilitator. Look at native & non-native plants… What is a “native” plant? Are non-native plants “bad” plants? Can native and non-native plants coexist? Join us as we walk the trails of Grant Park locating both native and non-native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.

July 26, South Milwaukee Takes Root, 10 am, Grant Park golf clubhouse: Local historian Nels Munson, facilitator. Focusing on the earliest days of the settlement in what we now know as South Milwaukee, join us as we learn about the family of John Fowle, who settled in this area in 1835, and walk the beach to hear about the various industries located there during our city’s formative years.

Aug. 9, Pollinator Power, 10 am, Grant Park area 5: Wehr Nature Center Naturalist Brooke Gilley, facilitator. What do bats, bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and hummingbirds have in common? All of them have the power of pollination! Help to support the importance of pollinators.

Aug. 23, Let’s Work Together, 10 am, Grant Park area 5: Urban Ecology Center Land Steward Jeff Veglahn, facilitator. Learn about the amazing pant communities & diverse ecosystems found in Grant Park! Jeff will lead us through Seven Bridges where we will learn about the plant communities made up of herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees that together make up the ravine.

Sept. 13, Leave it to Trees, 10 am, Grant Park area 5: Retired Arboriculture Instructor at MATC Mike Wendt, facilitator. A self-titled Tree Geek, Mike will guide us along the Seven Bridges trail to gain insight into our woody friends and teach us fool-proof ways to identify trees, and how trees can be successfully used in landscapes. Mike guarantees at least 100 tree trivia facts and warns participants that tree enthusiasm can be contagious!

Sept. 27, Meet your Wild Neighbors, PENDING, 10 am, Mill Hill, 601 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee: Urban wildlife abounds throughout Milwaukee County, and Grant Park is lucky enough to enjoy a wide variety of urban mammals. Join Wisconsin DNR’s Milwaukee County Wildlife Biologist, Dianne Robinson, to discuss our wildlife neighbors. Learn how to coexist with these urban critters, even when they are a nuisance.

We will also post the flyer in kiosks within Grant Park.