One of our members found this brief video about trees produced by BBC. We think it may change your attitude about what’s underfoot in the woods. You don’t have to have a facebook account to view it.
Four wooden kiosks were built in the park in recent years by candidates for Eagle Scout recognition, and those kiosks now seem to be favored by vandals for their graffiti tagging and target practice on plexiglass doors with pellet guns (or whatever). We support the Scouts for their workmanship and community engagement. The photo attached here is of a repaired kiosk across the street from the Seven Bridges main entrance. The Friends of Grant Park supplied the materials for repair, but we have Keith Sobczak to thank for doing the work. Keith still volunteers with the scout troop whose Eagle Scout candidates built the kiosks. Vandalism is costly and recurrent; any donations to offset the materials needed would be appreciated. Donations can be made online through the Park People website: parkpeoplemke.org. Be sure to select “Grant Park” for your donation to benefit our group.
The artist Sarah Henry, pictured with gold scarf, at an event commemorating the mural’s completion. Also in the picture are Friends of Grant Park members from left to right: Debbie Pizur, Rick Kaiser, artist Sarah Henry, Jan Marsh, Jody Johnson, Betsy Abert, Pam Uhrig, and Jackie Benka. In addition to the screech owl and robin seen in the mural above, Sarah painted a doe and fawn, a red fox, two squirrels, a bunny, and a monarch butterfly. You’ve got to come see it!
The South Milwaukee Library children’s room upstairs was transformed into the entrance to the Seven Bridges Trail. “Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature” is the familiar phrase welcoming visitors to Grant Park’s most iconic feature, and to the children’s library as well. Let us know if you like it!
Sponsored by the Friends of Grant Park
We thought we’d do a different take on a calendar this year. Our Historic Grant Park Calendar for 2019 was the result. With vintage photos of Grant Park and historical information, you can peek into the past. Send a copy to friends and family. Funds raised through calendar sales will benefit maintenance and improvement of Grant Park. The Friends of Grant Park are a 501(c)(3) organization. Available for sale at:
- Avenue Coffeehouse – 911 Milwaukee Ave.
- Parkway Floral – 1001 Milwaukee Ave.
- Serendipitous Designs & Gifts – 907 Milwaukee Ave.
You can get a look at the calendar here: 2019 Calendar Flyer
Cash or check only. $10 each. Calendars can be ordered by mail; add $2 per calendar for shipping & handling. Checks are made to FoGP and send to 421 Hawthorne Ave, South Milwaukee, WI 53172.
Sunday, October 14th from 1 – 4 pm
The Friends of Grant Park sponsored an educational/fundraiser event called Trek ‘n Treat. Participants followed the trails through the 7 Bridges area to approximately 15 stations in the park, and answered nature-related questions. They received treats along the way! The long route meandered through the ravine; the short route was an accessible option. In Shelter 5A, refreshments were for sale, pumpkin painting, birding information and other activities related to the park and its unique habitat. Costumes were optional, but check out the costumes of some of the kids! See you next year!
A huge Thank You to the following for their generous donations!
- ACE Hardware, SM
- Blaine’s Farm and Fleet
- Human Concerns
- MJ Media, LLC
- Piggly Wiggly, Oak Creek
- Project Concern
- Target, Oak Creek
- Tiprint Inc.
- Tri City National Bank
- Walgreens, SM
- Walmart, SM
- SM Historical Society
- Wehr Nature Center
- SM High School National Honor Society
- SM High School Link Crew
- Milwaukee County Parks Natural Areas Team
- Wisconsin DNR
Shown above: Aubrey and Hailey McCune
The Friends of Grant Park held a scavenger hunt for families visiting the traveling beer garden on Thursday evenings. Participants were given a number of clues to find near the beer garden and told to “capture” images with a cell phone camera. Participants completing the hunt were awarded with an honorary membership with the Friends of Grant Park!
Another game offered at the beer garden was Invasive Species Jeopardy! quiz show. Contestants were given 6 chances to guess the “question” to 6 answers chosen from the jeopardy game board. Contestants had a wide variety of knowledge about the wicked weeds we whack in the park. Some contestants were as young as 7 years old! We hope everyone had a good time. Thanks to Justine Bellamy for designing the scavenger hunt, and to Jody Johnson for designing the Jeopardy game.
Preserve Our Parks Launches “Our Turn” Petition Drive Demanding More Parks Funding
for Preservation and Enhancement
The POP petition drive will begin in June and will run throughout the summer.
Preserve Our Parks, a local non-profit watchdog advocacy group, announced today that it will launch a grassroots “Our Turn” petition drive to protest the loss of funding for Milwaukee County parks. The petition demands that County officials direct more funding to repair and maintain the County’s 140 parks and parkways.
“Our parks are in crisis,” said Jim Goulee, president of Preserve Our Parks. “We funded stadiums and arenas, and now it’s ‘our turn’ for parks funding. Our parks are a critical part of the quality of life in Milwaukee County. The parks and trails that make up our ‘emerald necklace’ must be preserved, enhanced and protected.”
Goulee pointed out that parks funding has drastically declined over the past three decades from about $45 million to about $34 million in the 2018 County budget. He added that while the County budget has nearly doubled since 1986, parks funding has dropped to a level where it is only 4.2 percent of the County tax levy, down from 29 percent in1986. “Elected representatives are allowing private firms to strip mine public taxes for private gain,” said Patricia Jursik, a board member of Preserve Our Parks. “This strip mining puts public parks in the ruts of devastation.”
Goulee said it was important to apply pressure to County policy-makers as the 2019 capital and operating budgets are drafted by the County Executive and reviewed by the County Board. But he added that state lawmakers have worsened the situation by cutting shared revenue to local governments, and they have also placed onerous limits on how counties can increase their tax levies. He said the state has strapped local government and is the “main cause of deterioration of County facilities.”
“We can’t let County and State officials cast a blind eye toward the continuing decay of our parks,” Goulee said. “So far the best the County Executive could do for increased parks funding was pitch a wrong-headed idea to place parking meters in the parks. That is simply unacceptable because it limits access. We must make our voices heard so that our free and public parks are thriving not only in the present but for future generations.”
The POP petition drive will begin in June and will run throughout the summer. Preserve Our Parks also announced that it will hold public “town hall” meetings to allow citizens to have their voices heard on the issue. The first meeting will be held at South Shore Park at 6:30 on June 7.
Preserve Our Parks is a non-profit citizen action and watchdog group passionately devoted to the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of Milwaukee County’s beautiful emerald necklace. Founded in 1999, Preserve Our Parks is committed to attaining dedicated funding for parks to reverse the course of decline and neglect that has taken place over several decades. Preserve Our Parks actively seeks to make our parks’ preservation a high priority for County policy-makers, and it strongly opposes the sale or any conveyance that restricts the use and enjoyment of our free public parks.
Bridges and walkways traverse the ravines of Grant Park, one of the oldest parks in Milwaukee County.
By Lynn Kronschnabel-Bieser
The Seven Bridges Trail offers a unique recreational and inspirational opportunity within the large urban area of Milwaukee County. The trail contains a series of bridges and walkways routed through a set of ravines that bisect Grant Park, and it exemplifies the grand vision of the Milwaukee County Park Commission of the early 20th century: to provide a well designed natural oasis amid the industrial expansion of Milwaukee.
|Winter on the Seven Bridges Trail|
Established in 1911, Grant Park is one of the oldest parks in Milwaukee County, and one of the most significant in the development of the rest of the System. In 1914 the Milwaukee County Park Commission hired Frederick C. Wulff, a German horticulturist and arborist to develop a nursery, greenhouse, orchard, and game farm that would provide stock for the development of the Park System. Wulff was also responsible for the development of much of Grant Park, including the Seven Bridges Trail. In 1917 a house was built atop a ravine in what is now the Seven Bridges Trail for Wulff and his family. The house still stands at the edge of the trail and is used by youth organizations for overnight stays.
The development of the trail continued through the 1920’s and 30’s under the direction of Wulff. Over 200 WPA and CCC workers assisted in the construction of the trail, including several wooden footbridges, a covered, Bavarian style bridge, lannon stone stairways and walkways, stone retaining walls, a man-made waterfall with dams and ponds, and plantings along the ravines and rock walls. Great care was taken to blend the man-made structures in with the natural elements of the ravines, creating a dramatic, yet serene environment around the trail.
Today the Seven Bridges Trail is a focal point of Grant Park, drawing thousands of visitors of a broad and diverse population from the Milwaukee area and beyond. Many urban school groups visit the trail for nature study and overnight stays at the Wulff Lodge. The trail offers wonderful opportunities for birding, photography, wildlife observation, silent strolling, and access to Lake Michigan.
The Seven Bridges Trail allows access to many outstanding natural resources found within Grant Park. The ravines are heavily wooded with very old stands of American Beech, Maple, White Ash, and Yellow Birch trees. On the forest floor there is an abundance of spring ephemerals, Trout Lilies, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, May Apples, Trilliums, and many other native flora. Along the bluffs adjacent to the trail, there is a wet fen (meadow) which supports a population of plants, which are rare to the area. As a prime migratory route along Lake Michigan, the area is host to many migrating birds.
Submitted to OnMilwaukee.com
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Milwaukee County Parks will receive a grant of $635,000 as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin.
Milwaukee County Parks will collaborate with the Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps/Student Conservation Association, the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute to remove invasive plant species from 32 ecologically diverse natural areas encompassing 1,300 acres of critical wildlife habitat in the Milwaukee County Park System.
The project will also provide educational opportunities for students in grades 6-12 as well as for college students.
“Thank you to the EPA for this important opportunity to collaborate with them in achieving a shared goal of environmental stewardship,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “Equally as important, we will engage students around Milwaukee County in a hands-on learning opportunity that will not only benefit the park land directly, but also instill a sense of environmental ethics and pride in our great park system.”
In other grants news, the Milwaukee County Parks Department has received a 2015 Root River Watershed Initiative Network grant of $9,910 to reforest 6.9 acres of leased agricultural land.
The reforestation project, directly adjacent to the Root River, will be planted to a diversity of native trees and shrubs that will provide habitat for migratory and breeding wildlife populations. The Parks Department will be partnering with the Franklin High School Eco-Club to install this planting in the fall of 2015.