Category Archives: Uncategorized

Scavenger Hunt at the Beer Garden


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.



“Our Turn” Petition Drive

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.

By Preserve Our Parks- May 31st, 2018 09:24 am

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.

Suburban Soles Guided Nature Walks

Join the Friends of Grant Park and special guest experts on this bi monthly adventure of nature vs nurture, as we study and learn about various topics such as native plants & flowers, invasive species, water life and health and the history of the South Milwaukee and the Oak Creek area.


Connecting to the Forked Aster Trail near the old Mill Pond, we begin our 1.5 mile loop venture along the Oak Creek and winding down the dirt trails thru the valley of the Oak Creek Parkway. Once we make our way to the Grant Park Clubhouse, we continue down historic Hawthorne Avenue and back down Mill Hill to end where we began, at 6th and Milwaukee.

We start at 10 am on the corner of 6th & Milwaukee (Mill Hill) on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month. Future walks are scheduled as follows:

June 10th – “This Land is Your Land” 
Join the Friends of Grant Park and Milwaukee County Parks Natural Area Specialist, Brian Russart, to learn about invasive species that have infiltrated the park and affected the environment. As we stroll, participants will be shown how to identify some of these invasives, such as Garlic Mustard and Japanese Knotweed. We will even have the opportunity to pull out a few of the invaders, along the way.

June 24th – “Bloom Where You Are Planted” 
Milwaukee’s eastern region botanist, Sierra Dawkins will lead us on this exciting wildflower walk, consisting of identification of native plants and flowers of Wisconsin as well as identification of troublesome invasive plant species. Bring your walking shoes, curiosity and a good attitude! All backgrounds welcome!

July 8th – “Historic Escape” 
In addition to the tour route being surrounded by great natural beauty, it also encompasses some of South Milwaukee’s most significant historic sites. South Milwaukee historian Nels Monson will lead this fact-filled event where you will hear and learn about city founder John Fowle, the Mill Pond, the railroad trestle stretching over Mill Road as well as the Grant Park golf course club house, the Hawthorne House and other items of historic interest. For anyone with a genuine interest in the history of South Milwaukee, this walking tour is sure to please.

July 22nd – “Sweet Success” 
What is a pollinator? What species live in Grant Park and surroundings communities? Why are they important to us? Join Brooke Gilley, Naturalist at Wehr Nature Center, as we journey through Grant Park to find out the answers to these questions. A pair binoculars or camera is strongly suggested for this hike.

August 12th – “Healthy Water, Healthy Land” 
Explore the ecosystem of Oak Creek with Jan Marsh, EPA watershed expert and Laura Herrick, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Chief Environmental Engineer, as they 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.

August 22nd -“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” 
Water Resources Biologist Craig Helker, with the Wisconsin DNR, will talk about how rivers work, their form, and how the critters present reflect the environments water quality. Learn how fish surveys are done using a backpack electro-shocker and study aquatic macro-invertebrates (bugs), collected in a kick-net.

September 9th – “Fun with Fungi” 
While the fungi kingdom includes several thousand species, there is less scientific knowledge (approx. 15 % classified) vs. the plant and animal kingdoms. But new research, along with historic information, show how fungi is involved with almost every aspect of our life. Alan Bunde, President of the Wisconsin Mycological Society, an amateur mushroom enthusiast club, will provide a basic overview of different local mushroom types and their interaction with our environment.

September 23rd – “Put Your Garden to Rest” 
Many of our natural areas have been damaged to the point of becoming unrecognizable from their original pre-European settlement appearance. Still much of that original vegetation remains in small parcels scattered here and there in county parks, woodlots, and field edges.On this walk, join Bryce Ruddock, co-author of “Integrated Forest Gardening: the Complete Guide to Polyculture and Plant Guilds in Permaculture systems” as we begin to look at what nature has to share with us and ways to add these natural beauties to where we live.

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.


Pullin’ o’ the Green at South MKE Yacht Club

Thank you to all who attended our fundraiser to benefit erosion issues in Grant Park:

Pullin’ o’ the Green ♣♣♣♣

Friday, March 16th
South Milwaukee Yacht Club, 101 Marshall Ave., South Milwaukee

Our sincere appreciation goes to those who donated raffle items for our dinner:

John Hoagland Family
The Green Bay Packers
Mayor Erik Brooks
Alderman Craig Maass
Moran’s Pub
Mari’s Flowers
Hills of Clay Pottery
Marketplace Dental
Cousins Subs
Muskies Gourmet House
South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
So. Milwaukee Historical Society
South Milwaukee School District
Milwaukee County Parks
Friends of Grant Park Members

And thanks to the South Milwaukee Yacht Club, Skyline Catering and our band, the Garlic Mustard Pickers…

Special thanks to these area businesses for selling tickets for our event:

  • Avenue Coffee, 911 Milwaukee Avenue, South Milwaukee
  • Parkway Floral, 1001 Milwaukee Avenue, South Milwaukee
  • So. MKE Ace Hardware, 1009 Marquette Avenue, South Milwaukee

Raffle Items as of March 12th are:

Large Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
$48 value

St. Patrick’s Day Package
Handmade ceramic dish.
The Irish Garden book
Tea towel
Shamrock Welcome sign
St. Patrick’s day wall hanging
Shamrock potholders
Shamrock tote bag
6 St. Patrick’s day party cups
6 St. Patrick’s day shot glasses
Value $100

South Milwaukee Package
Lunch with Mayor Brooks
SM Historical society Christmas ornament
SM PAC ticket voucher for 2 people
Free SM Historical Society membership
SM Greeting cards
SM Postcards
Coupon from Muskies
4  coupons for Cousin Subs
Value $175

Garden Basket Package
4 passes to Milwaukee County Gardens
Book – The Irish Garden
Gardening Bag
Photo Memo Box
2 gardening hand tools
2 Pair of Gardening Gloves
Friends of Grant Park Calendar
Friends of Grant Park Tote Bag
Royal Dansk Luxury Wafers
2 bottles of Skinny Girl – Cosmo & Margarita

Marketplace Dental Package
Includes seven free consultations, a box of whitening strips,  two large candles, hand cleaner and lotion, brushes, toothpaste, and soap.  Value $800.

Packer Package
Package includes: signed 2017 team football, signed Donald Driver photo, 4 placemats, playing cards, football themed tic tac toe, 4 shamrock can cozies, and two 6 pack’s of beer. Value $125

Quarter Barrel Party Raffle Package
Moran quarter barrel party
Moran t-shirt
Martell, very special pale cognac
Friends of Grant Park tote
Value $500

Enhanced Golf Raffle Package
4 vouchers for 9 or 18 holes at Milwaukee County golf courses
4 vouchers for golf carts
E sleeves of golf balls & tees
Packers golf towel
Grey Goose Vodka
Dalvey flask
Jack Daniels wooden planter
Friends of Grant Park tote bag
Golf themed tic tac toe board
Value $425

IMG_0882 IMG_0884
Carol Norling Print Package
“Great Lakes-Fog Mystery”; Print value $250

Milwaukee County Parks Golf Package
4 vouchers each for a round of golf and use of a cart on a Milwaukee County Park course; 3 sleeves of golf balls and 5 tees; Golf figures tic-tac-toe game; value $225

Money raised at this event sponsors projects to preserve and enhance Grant Park including security devices, community outreach, and habitat management.

“Fowle Residence” Open House Dec. 14th

Also known as the Grant Park Golf Clubhouse, the Fowle family residence will be open for viewing Thursday evening, Dec. 14th, at 7 pm. Local historian Nels Monson will give a brief review of the history of the residence, followed by a self guided tour of the rooms. The South Milwaukee Historical Society also contributed photos and historical context. Come peek at the festively decorated and recently renovated clubhouse while sipping hot apple cider and nibbling on festive cookies! This event is free and open to the public.

open house flyer


2018 Friends of Grant Park Calendar


Back by popular demand, the 2018 Friends of Grant Park calendar is now available for sale at the following South Milwaukee businesses:

  • Parkway Floral, 1001 Milwaukee Avenue
  • Serendipitous Designs, 916 Milwaukee Avenue
  • Avenue Coffee, 911 Milwaukee Avenue

Featuring photographs of Grant Park from local photographers. Funds raised by the sale of the calendar go toward park improvements and amenities. The cost is $12 each, or 2/$20.

If you wish to order by mail, send request to The cost for mail order is $14 for one or $23 for two.


Oak Creek Watershed Survey

Got a minute?

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission is seeking input on the future of the Oak Creek Watershed. Between now and Nov. 15th, 2017, you are invited to complete a brief survey of how you use the watershed, your concerns and priorities for its future. The link is provided here:

They are hoping for a lot of participation on this.


7 Bridges BBQ

There is a new event being staged in Grant Park’s 7 Bridges ravine, that will tempt your tastebuds and sooth your senses. Sponsored by Newaukee, the 7 Bridges BBQ features several local restaurant food sample stations, local brews, and music, too, as you wind your way down the trails toward the lakefront. Food tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased at

Here is a link to the poster:


A portion of the proceeds benefit the Friends of Grant Park.