Author Archives: Friends of Grant Park

Cancellation: Sept. 10th Suburban Soles

Regrettably, the Suburban Soles walk scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 10th, has been cancelled.

We hope to see you on Sept. 24th:

A Fungus Among Us

Find Function, from Formidable Fungi”       10am – Noon – Area 5 parking lot

Alan Bunde, former president of the Wisconsin Mycological Society, digs in to explain four general types of fungi, basic physical characteristics, and the difference between underground fungi, the mushrooming form on the forest floor, and others growing on trees, stumps or downfalls.

Our Eaton partners come through again

Once again, Eaton Corporation’s South Milwaukee facility management chose to make a donation to Friends of Grant Park for 2023. Human Resources Manager Nate Schoepp and Continuous Improvement Technician Tony DeHoyos presented the check for $2,000 to Debby Pizur and Jody Johnson. The donation will be applied to our purchase of trees to be planted later this fall in Grant Park. We are grateful for the support.

Left to right: Jody Johnson, Debby Pizur, Nate Schoepp, Tony DeHoyos

Open Doors South Milwaukee, Sept. 9th | Wulff Lodge

Back for the second year, Open Doors South Milwaukee offers a chance to explore historic sites throughout the city of South Milwaukee! Friends of Grant Park members will open Wulff Lodge to the public for inspection on Saturday, Sept. 9th from 10 am to 3 pm. The lodge was home to Milwaukee County’s first horticulturist, Frederick Wulff and his family. For your convenience, a list of other participating locations is available for the asking.

Your group can rent Wulff Lodge! Available exclusively to civic, church or youth groups. To book a stay, call (414) 257-8005, M-F 8am to 4pm.

Protections for Natural Areas: Milwaukee County Ordinance 47.08

The following is an excerpt from a blog post by Eddee Daniel entitled “Milwaukee County Strengthens Protections for Natural Areas” from the website, posted on July 29, 2022.

Here, in abbreviated form, are the new provisions:

(A) No person shall harvest, collect, deface, or disturb, in any manner, any portion of a native plant or native fungi within the Park System.

(B) Invasive species can be removed within the Park System only by Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Culture (DPRC) staff or those authorized through written permission from the DPRC. Planting of any vegetative material within the Park System without the written permission of the DPRC is prohibited.

(C) The harassment, capture, injury, or killing of native wildlife within the Park System is prohibited. Introduction or release of any animal, wild or domestic, within the Park System without the written permission of the DPRC is prohibited.

(D) Natural areas designated by the Southeastern WI Regional Planning Commission as “Natural Areas of Local, Regional, or State-wide Significance” or designated as “Critical Species Habitat Areas,” will receive a heightened level of protection. Only hiking, biking, running, bird watching and similar passive recreation activities are allowed and only on designated trails.

According to Natural Areas Supervisor Brian Russart “the County Board did want Parks to be lenient on individuals walking along designated trails in the park system eating the occasional handful of wild raspberries as they are walking, because the impact would be minor and the plants are typically found along trails.” This does not allow people to bring a basket along to pick and remove more berries from the park for later use.

Russart would like you to know this: “Citizens that observe illegal foraging in the park system are encouraged to call the Parks Ranger Hot-line (414-257-7777) as they are observing these activities. This way Parks can respond immediately, and appropriately address the situation.

Friends of Grant Park Art Fair, July 23rd

Pop-up artist tents surround the brown shelter at area 5. All photos courtesy of Chris Stravinski Sharrow.

The very first Friends of Grant Park Art Fair was held on Sunday, July 23rd from 10am to 2pm. Thankfully, Mother Nature blew us a kiss with fabulous weather that day… and the turnout was estimated at 500 attendees, or more. Located in Area 5A brown picnic shelter, we hosted artists from a variety of mediums displaying and selling their works. The July fair preceded Heritage Day festivities in South Milwaukee.

The open air picnic shelter also featured sales of food and refreshment by the Friends of Grant Park. We hope to host a second art fair in July 2024, same location, same weather(?)…

Our mission statement is to preserve natural areas of the park, enhance unique features of the park, encourage use of the park, and to provide a mechanism for private contributions to supplement public funding of Grant Park.

Thirty artists and so much fun!

We’d like to thank Skyline Catering for donating taste-tempting cookies, and also thanks to the First Congregational Church in South Milwaukee for allowing us to safely prepare foods for the fair in their kitchen. We are indebted to the park’s maintenance workers who quickly cleaned the pavilion beforehand so the artists could arrive early Sunday to begin setting up their booths. And thanks to our members and volunteers who assisted in so many ways!

Invasive plant update

Friends of Grant Park received a competitive grant in March of 2022 to support girdling/and or removal of some of the larger flowering and seeding Japanese Tree Lilacs. This year, we worked with Milwaukee County Parks Natural Areas personnel and cleared approximately an acre of woodland of JTL. We also provided invasive species in-person education to 160 youth volunteers. These photos depict but a small portion of the trees removed. Thank you to the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium for their support. To learn more about invasive plants visit –

Invasive Plants | Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc (

Grant supported tree Lilac removal of larger caliper and flowering trees shown here.

Green Bay Packers Foundation Grant

We were simply delighted to receive notification that Friends of Grant Park would be recipients of a $4,000 grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation. Awarded on Dec. 8th, you can read about the foundation and the other recipients in this article from their website:

Our intent is to utilize the funds to offset costs for our various programs, such as WeedOut, Suburban Soles, tree planting and Trek ‘n Treat. We hope to continue these programs to benefit Grant Park, and these funds will support their continued success.

Thank you to the Green Bay Packers Foundation.

Fowle History in Grant Park

Be sure to join us to hear local historian Nels Monson as he shares the origins of the Golf Course Clubhouse. We welcome everyone to the clubhouse on Thursday, Dec. 8th for a holiday gathering. Our monthly meeting starts earlier, at 5:30; the party starts after our meeting, at 7 pm. We promise to warm the room with a fire in the fireplace! This event will conclude at 8 pm.

Honors to our members!

We are fortunate to have Rick Kaiser and Betsy Abert advocating for Grant Park.

Betsy Abert is a founding member of Friends of Grant Park and has been on the board of directors most of the time as a member-at-large. An avid “bird nerd”, she is Grant Park’s personal Avian Ambassador, leading bird watching hikes in the spring; almost daily monitoring of the bird seed supply in the bird feeder station; and fielding questions about their identification, migration patterns, and natural habitat. She has also shared her skills as a conscientious conservator and landscape designer when suggesting improvements to address erosion in the park. Betsy also volunteers as a WeedOut coordinator and is certified to safely apply herbicide when needed for eradication of certain invasive plants that persist despite continued removal by volunteers. If only we could clone Betsy!

The Friends of Grant Park honored Betsy with an Honorary Lifetime Membership. Thank you for your years of service!

Betsy Abert (on right) receives
Honorary Lifetime Membership
from Jody Johnson

WeedOut volunteers from YouthWorks program,
Rick Kaiser on right, back row, red shirt

Rick Kaiser has been an active member for the last 10 years or more, and his efforts are noted in this letter from the Friends of Grant Park Board of Directors. Thank you so much, Rick!