Author Archives: Friends of Grant Park

No Mow May!

The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow un-mown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators. This is particularly important in urban areas where floral resources are often limited. However, South Milwaukee will enforce that residential grass cannot be above 6 inches and will give citizens citations. Cudahy and Saint Francis will not be citing citizens in May. Not sure if parks’ maintenance staff will be participating…

So, help the bees and leave that lawnmower in the garage (until it hits 6″ in South Milwaukee).

Remember white clover in your lawns?

You can win this quilt!

Raffle and Silent Auction, April 9 thru June 25

Love spending time in Grant Park? We have a few craft items available that will reflect your love of nature in the park. You can view these items at the Historical Society’s Garden Club / Garden Tour stop at Grant Park Wil-o-Way garden area on June 25th from 9 am – 2 pm. FOGP will staff a table at this event.

RAFFLE: A hand-crafted quilt and matching pillow made by FOGP member Debby Pizur will be a raffle item. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $3 each or 4/$10. The quilt is 42″ x 42″, and includes rod and casing for use as a wall hanging if desired. (The raffle drawing will be held on June 25th, at 2 pm, immediately following the close of the Garden Tour stop at Wil-o-Way gardens.)

Matching pillow included with quilt!

SILENT AUCTION: Offered individually, Migratory Birds hand-painted rocks is the handiwork of local artist Susan Medrow, using acrylic paint. Choose from Cedar Waxwing, Sandpiper, White Winged Crossbill, or European Goldfinch. (Bidding starts at $10 per bird, or you can purchase your favorite bird for $25 on June 25th at the Garden Tour stop at Wil-o-Way gardens with the drawing held at 2 pm.)

Migratory Birds by Susan Medrow

A set of Four Seasons hand-painted rocks (SOLD) This set was featured in our 2022 FOGP Calendar. The set was offered as a silent auction item with a minimum bid of $40 for the set; the entire set was purchased for $100.

Set of Four Seasons by Susan Medrow

About the artist, Sue Medrow:

“I’m born and raised in South Milwaukee, so it’s been nearly 60 years that I’ve been able to enjoy Grant Park. Because I’m lucky enough to live close, we walk daily through the park. We both, my husband and I, have a deep appreciation for Grant Park.

It’s really only been a few years since I’ve taken up the rock painting, although it really amped up during the pandemic. I use acrylic paint and then seal them so they can be used in your outdoor gardens if you like.

I love painting them, and hope to continue sharing them for others to enjoy!”

If you wish to place a silent auction bid online, you can send an email to Raffle tickets for the quilt will be sold in person at the Friends of Grant Park meeting on May 12th, the Garden Tour on June 25th, or by email to make arrangements for in person purchase.

Community Clean Up, Grant Park, April 16

These hardy souls braved gusts of 25 mph winds and 40º temperatures for a good purpose!

Thank you to volunteers for participating in our Community Clean Up… a great way to honor Earth Day! The Friends of Grant Park and the South Milwaukee / St. Francis Health Department, working as partners for a Community Clean Up in Grant Park on Saturday, April 16, were pleased to welcome 26 volunteers. You can see in both photos that very stiff winds had removed shingles from the roof of Ferch’s. Volunteers found most of them on the beach!

We targeted three areas needing attention in the park:

  • Grant Park’s main beach
  • Wil-o-Way center parking lot
  • Area 5 parking lot

Supplies were provided on site.

All volunteers completed and submitted a volunteer/COVID-19 waiver on site or online at:

(Similar clean up events will be held in both Sheridan and Bender Park on April 23rd.)

No Foraging Allowed

A proposal to amend Milwaukee County Ordinance 47.08 to allow foraging of fruit, nuts and certain varieties of fungi was defeated by Milwaukee County supervisors after receiving strong opposition from FOGP and others. We opposed the ordinance due to the probability of increased foot traffic on sensitive off-trail areas of the park by those in search of certain plant materials. Other parks have reported extirpation of numerous species due to foraging practices. The ordinance would have applied to ALL county parks. Similarly sized metropolitan parks in other cities have all banned the practice.

Nature has provided a variety of plant materials to support the various animals and birds that inhabit the park as they seek food to sustain themselves. Similar sources of food are available for human consumption at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. When humans gather plant materials from the parks, they deprive the resident animals and birds thereby increasing the likelihood that their numbers will decline. Is that what we wish for?

Trees planted!

The Park People is the umbrella organization that helps form local friends groups to advocate for our county parks. They were instrumental in establishing the WeedOut! program, and hold a yearly gathering for member groups to share ideas and learn from each other. Their annual newsletter featured accomplishments of several Friends Groups including Friends of Grant Park.

Here is their newsletter page highlighting our 2021 tree planting efforts:

We purchase trees each year for planting, and volunteers are always willing to lend a hand. You can volunteer for next season by contacting us at We’ll give you a call when we receive our order of trees.

Kelly Senior Center

If you’ve ever wanted to walk with a group, the Kelly Senior Center has extended an open invitation to join them for Thursday 9 am Nature Walks at Warnimont Park. Walk the Oak Leaf trail while enjoying the seasonal sights and sounds.

We have had several outings paired with seniors from the Kelly Senior Center, located at 6100 S. Lake Dr. Cudahy, WI 53110.

Something Spooky happened on October 10th!

Trek ‘n Treat 2021

The Friends of Grant Park hosted our popular Trek ‘n Treat event on Sunday, Oct. 10th, from 1 to 4 pm. We had about 230 costumed vampires, princesses and super heroes participate along with their families. Candy treats, apples, popcorn and cider were available. Tiny pumpkins were painted by some to take home. Everyone had fun, until it rained. Nature is always in charge.

The family-friendly educational event was a Halloween-themed nature walk through the Seven Bridges trails, starting out from Area 5 parking lot. “View the haunts of nature” in the 7 Bridges area, learn about the forest and get treats!

We had special help from the following individuals: Brooke Gilley, Emilie Hund Burmeister, Rita Flores Wiskowski, Carla Uphill, Mike Minter, Lois Schreiter and friend, Eunice Beckendorf.

Student volunteers were plentiful, thanks to: Stephanie Broussard, St. John’s Brookfield; Darla Wack, SM Leo Club; Elizabeth Biskobing, SM National Honor Society; and Laura Krause, Oak Creek High School National Honor Society.

Special thanks to our sponsors

  • Target
  • American Transmission Co.
  • Pick ‘n Save
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Blaine’s Farm & Fleet
  • Walmart
  • Ace Hardware, South Milwaukee
  • Walgreens
  • Tri-City Bank
  • Project Concern
  • Costco

Stop the Invasion of Trash on our Beaches

Seven Bridges Adopt-a-BeachTM Clean up

On Saturday, Sept. 11th, the Friends of Grant Park held a beach clean up in partnership with Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Tom Gardner was our first volunteer of the morning!

The weather was breezy and comfortable that morning, heating up considerably after the noon hour. Volunteers had to navigate through the course of several hundred cross country runners that morning who were competing with regional competitors in the park at the same time as our beach clean-up. Traffic was congested, parking was tight, but still a small group of intrepid volunteers found their way to our clean-up table to do their duty for the park. Thank you for your perseverance!

Our Root-Pike River Basin Tour

On Aug. 24th, several FOGP members traveled to the Root and Pike River watershed to tour restoration areas and improvements made over the last 20 years by the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (Root-Pike WIN). Our guide, Bill Sasse, a new member of FOGP, is a board member and former president with Root-Pike WIN. Since we are setting aside a significant portion of our fundraising money to fix erosion of a slope above a bridge in Grant Park, we thought we should see what Root-Pike WIN has accomplished. We toured a restored prairie in Pritchard Park; a stream restoration and bike path in Mount Pleasant; and a regenerative storm water conveyance in Kenosha filtering runoff from farmers soybean fields into the Pike River. Our last stop was the restoration at Petrifying Springs Park to view the refreshing clean waters of the Pike River stream flowing past a pavilion with graduated stone embankments to minimize erosion. Did I mention it was 94º with high humidity on Aug. 24th?

FOGP members visit a Root-Pike WIN prairie restoration in Pritchard Park in Racine

Root-Pike WIN has tirelessly partnered with federal, state, county, corporate and community partners to address the task before them. Layer after layer of planning, engineering, permitting, land acquisition, and construction, along with volunteers following up with planting prairie seed mixtures and removal of invasive species has resulted in a greener, cleaner watershed that benefits our rivers and our communities.

Thank you to Bill Sasse, and all the volunteers and partners of Root-Pike WIN for their accomplishments and a job very well done. Now it’s our turn to roll up our sleeves for the Oak Creek Watershed.