We welcome runners participating in the Lake Michigan Trail Marathon which winds its way through Grant Park on Sunday, Sept. 3rd. We will be staffing a hydration station near the golf course clubhouse. Participants can register for the marathon, half marathon, 50K, or 20 mile “training run” at http://lakemichiganmarathon.com. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Friends of Grant Park.
The Friends of Grant Park invite you to join us to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Wulff Lodge on Saturday, June 24th, from 3 to 8 pm. This building was built in 1917 as the residence of the first Superintendent of Horticulture for Milwaukee County Parks, Frederick C. Wulff and his family. Mr. Wulff, a native of Germany, was recruited to Wisconsin for his expertise in forestry and botany. If you look at the nearby trees, you will see species that are “champion” sized along with others that are not indigenous to the area. The area directly to the west, which is currently the special recreation facility, Wi-O-Way, was the former first nursery location which provided trees, bushes, and other plant materials that were used throughout the park system.
Mr. Wulff managed this nursery as well as the development and construction of the Seven Bridges trail. The trail was completed in conjunction with the Work Progress Administration, a 1930’s contemporary to the Civilian Conservation Corps Program which was responsible for various projects along the “South Shore” of Lake Michigan. A crew of over 200 men constructed the creek bed retaining walls, lannon stone paths, staircases, and various retaining walls throughout the ravine.
Program: As part of the anniversary celebration, we have invited county & city dignitaries and speakers. Visitors are invited to tour the house and garden. Local historian Nels Monson will elaborate on the history of the lodge and show a short film taken by Frederick Wulff. Memorial tree seedlings will be for sale. Mature trees of interest have been identified on the grounds and labeled for a self-guided tree tour. The South Milwaukee Municipal Band will play music from the 20’s at 4 pm, and Boy Scout Troop 252 will build a campfire for roasting marshmallows for s’mores (available for purchase); other food available. As a final cap for the event, the scouts will lead a flag retirement ceremony. Veterans families wishing to retire flags are encouraged to bring the flag along for inclusion in the ceremony.
Wulff Lodge is located near Will-O-Way Grant, 207 Lake Drive. Enter from the north park entrance and turn right toward Wil-O-Way, park in the parking lot, then walk along the gravel drive to the left of the circular drive.
The Friends of Grant Park would like to express our extreme appreciation for the members of the South Milwaukee Boys Track Team for their amazing work picking up trash. They collected 2 truck loads of garbage and debris from the 7 bridges area and picnic areas 5 & 6. Here is their photo, taken by Keith Sobszak:
Click on photo to enlarge!
Thank you to all of the friends and families that came to the beach cleanup on Saturday, April 22nd. We had 36 volunteers ( some as young as 4 yrs. old!), and collected an estimated 80 lbs. of trash. And Mother Nature cooperated in a big way by giving us fantastic weather: sunny skies, gentle winds, and a delightfully pleasant temperature to work in! Here are a few snapshots, taken by C. Prondzinski:
Trek ‘n Treat • Oct. 15th • 1 – 4 pm • Grant Park Area 5
Families were invited to “view the haunts of nature” in Grant Park, South Milwaukee, on Sunday, October 15th from 1 – 4 pm. 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, answered nature related questions, and received treats along the way! The long route meandered through the ravine, the short route was an accessible option. In Shelter 5A there were refreshments, pumpkin painting, birding information and other activities related to the park and its unique habitat.
A big time thank you to some great volunteers who made this happen. We had help this year from the South Milwaukee National Honor Society, Leo’s, Link Crew, Middle School Volunteens, South Milwaukee Historical Society, and Special Olympic Athletes.
These photos were taken at Trek ‘n Treat, Oct. 16, 2016.
A huge Thank You to our local businesses that donated to our 2017 event!!!
- Blaine’s Farm and Fleet
- Oak Creek Piggly Wiggly
- SM McDonald’s
- SM ACE Hardware
- SM Pick ‘n Save
- SM Walgreens
- SM Walmart
- Tri City Bank
- Cudahy Tiprint
- Cudahy Project Concern
For more information call 414-764-0461.
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In addition to an article about the crumbling Mitchell Park Domes, the Friends of Grant Park are featured in an article in this quarterly newsletter edited by the Park People’s executive director, Jim Goulee:
A side note regarding the FOGP fundraiser, Pullin’ o’ the Green: due to escalating costs of staging the event, the Irish party fundraiser scheduled for March 12th has been cancelled.
This article appeared in Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik’s November 2015 e-newsletter:
A BioBlitz is a scientific “race”– a 24-hour species count by a team of scientists and surveyors that produces scientifically valid data, as well as interesting discoveries and public education about the biodiversity that exists in an urban setting. You can read and hear two WUWM stories about Milwaukee’s first-ever BioBlitz here and here. The first BioBlitz (run by MPM at Schlitz Audubon Center) counted 820 species in 24 hours, identified several Federal or State-listed endangered species that Audubon didn’t know it had onsite, as well as discovered an invasive Asian worm that could, if left unchecked, devastate the Audubon Center’s landscape.
The Grant Park BioBlitz will take place June 10-11, 2016 and the public will be welcomed to base camp from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday to meet the scientists, participate in activities with MPM educators, and watch the action. Grant Park was specifically selected because of the variety of landscapes and habitats it holds. More information forthcoming.
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.
The Friends of Grant Park wish Matt Collins the best as he moves on to become the Assistant Director of Parks for Kenosha. His position as the Grant Park Unit Coordinator will be filled by Jake Klingforth who is an energetic and highly skilled manager that will bring fresh ideas and a positive spirit to the Grant Park team. He will officially start at Grant on 6/8 and can be reached by email Jacob.firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck, Matt!