Centennial Anniversary of Wulff Lodge on June 24th

 

Wulff340x240

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.

South Milwaukee Track Team tackles trash

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:

IMG_20170408_172225

 

Click on photo to enlarge!

 

 

Beach Clean Up Saturday, April 22

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:

P1160867

P1160878

Something’s spooky about this…

Trek ‘n Treat • Oct. 16th • 1 – 4 pm • Grant Park Area 5

Families are invited to “view the haunts of nature” in Grant Park, South Milwaukee, on Sunday, October 16th from 1 pm-4 pm. Friends of Grant Park is sponsoring an educational/fundraiser event called Trek ‘n Treat. Registration is $2/participant at Area 5, costumes optional. Participants will follow the trails through the 7 Bridges area to approximately 20 stations in the park, answer nature related questions, and receive treats along the way. The long route meanders through the ravine to historic Wulff Lodge, the short route is handicapped accessible.  In Shelter 5A there will be refreshments, pumpkin painting, birding information and other activities related to the park and its unique habitat. The new 2017 Grant Park Calendar, featuring photos by local residents, will also be for sale for $10 each or $9 each for two or more. For more information call 414-764-0461.

 

Get your copy of the Friends of Grant Park 2017 Calendar!

CalendarCover
• A gorgeous full-color calendar filled with spectacular park pictures by local photographers
• The perfect gift for nature lovers
• Includes dates for South Milwaukee and Friends of Grant Park events
• All proceeds will be used for maintenance and improvement of Grant Park
in South Milwaukee
• Friends of Grant Park is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
Special thanks to the photographers
• Lynn Crawford
• Mary Francis
• Sue Hibben
• Todd Leech
• Dalibor Mrkic
• Keith Orcholski
• Laura Rubin
• Michael Timm
• Rob Vajagich
• Rebecca Wheeler
• Rita Wiskowski
…and more who have graciously allowed the Friends of Grant Park to use their photo(s) for the calendar, and the calendar commitee: Pam Uhrig, Debby Pizur, Jackie Benka, Betsy Abert and Sue Hebner.

Pre-order your calendar and save!

Pre-order, early-bird pricing good until October 15, 2016. 
_____ $10 each (Save 17%)
_____  $9 each for 2 or more (Save 25%)
Calendars will be available for purchase (cash or check only) at Parkway Floral by Aug. 15.
Calendars may be ordered by mail: Please add $1.50 per calendar for shipping & handling to the above prices. Send your name, address, city, and zip code. Make check payable to “Friends of Grant Park” and mail to:
421 Hawthorne Avenue, South Milwaukee, WI 53172

The Park People News

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:

The Park People News 2016

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.

 

 

 

Milwaukee Public Museum brings BioBlitz to Grant Park June 10 & 11

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.

Seven Bridges Trail, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Bridges and walkways traverse the ravines of Grant Park, one of the oldest parks in Milwaukee County.

By Lynn Kronschnabel-Bieser

Colorado Map

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.

photo of snowy trail
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.

Best Wishes

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.klingforth@milwaukeecountywi.gov

Good luck, Matt!

 

 

 

Milwaukee County Parks awarded $635,000 grant

By Press Release

Submitted to OnMilwaukee.comE-mail author

parkgrant_fullsize_story1

 The grant money will be used to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin.

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.