Category Archives: Parks

Now, the Watershed Work Begins

It was a full house at Tuesday’s Oak Creek Watershed kickoff meeting at City Hall, and I want to thank everyone who attended to learn more about what the next two to three years will look like as we embark on this important work.

If you missed it, you can check out the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission presentation here.

Field work begins this summer, with the first of five more stakeholder meetings come up then too. And much, much more to come from there.

Indeed, we’re just getting started. But we’re getting started. And that’s a big deal.

Here are my remarks from last night … I mean every word of them. Let’s roll!

Good evening, and, on behalf of the city, welcome to South Milwaukee and the Oak Creek Watershed.

About 2/3 of our city sits in the watershed, including some of the most public-facing parts of that watershed, from the parkway to the Mill Pond to Grant Park … so, needless to say, we take revitalization and renewal of this resource very seriously. In many ways, our promising future depends on a healthy watershed. That’s why I’m so excited about today.

April 12, 2016. That’s the day we begin cleaning up the Oak Creek watershed for our kids, their kids, and their kids. Generations to come will benefit from what we’re doing here.

Of course, today is just the beginning.

Have a plan, work the plan. It’s the mentality the city has adopted around our ongoing work in updating our comprehensive plan and creating a first-ever downtown plan for South Milwaukee.

And it’s the mentality we’re adopting here.

Have a plan, work the plan. In other words, ensure that a plan is more than the words on a page. Commit to bringing it to life. This plan will give us the information we need to do just that.

Let the journey begin!

I want to close by thanking some of the partners who have made this happen …

  • To Supervisor Jursik for her years of leadership in this area. While we’ll deeply miss her advocacy for the South Shore and the Oak Creek watershed, I am confident her replacement on the board will continue to carry this torch ….
  • Thank you to the Parks Department, Director John Dargle and the county administration for their unwavering support in making this planning process a reality …
  • To leaders from all six municipalities in the 28 square-mile watershed – including Oak Creek, Cudahy, Greenfield, Franklin and Greenfield — who publicly supported this from day one …
  • To MMSD, as strong partners throughout this process. They are deeply committed to promoting clean watersheds across the region, and they are indeed putting their money where their mouth is as the planning project’s lead funding agency … 
  • Thank you to the Fund for Lake Michigan, which has awarded $125,000 in grants in the past year toward this plan and a separate study of watershed water quality …
  • To SEWRPC, which has been part of these discussions from the start. I can’t think of a better organization to do this study … 
  • And, of course, thank you to our local citizen groups, including the Friends of the Mill Pond and Friends of Grant Park, as well as Restore the Lagoon. Without their passion and advocacy, none of this would be possible.

And finally, I want to thank everyone in this room.

My ask: Be part of this process. Be heard. This is your watershed, and everyone here has a stake in being sure it is restored to health and vibrancy once again.

Attend the public meetings. Offer your comments. Help shape the plan. Own the plan. Then, once the plan is approved, join me in getting behind it to drive real change.

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Filed under Oak Creek watershed, Parks, South Milwaukee

Take Your Kids Fishing Saturday at the Mill Pond

The Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek are hosting a children’s fishing clinic this Saturday (tomorrow) at the Mill Pond.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with hands-on instruction around knot tying, safe use of fishing equipment and proper techniques.

Families are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, although the Friends also have poles available.

Children age 15 and under are welcome, with adult supervision for young children. Pre-registration is not required, so come on by!

Check out the press release about the fishing clinics – being held at 11 Milwaukee County Parks ponds – for more information.

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Filed under Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, Parks, South Milwaukee

Coming Soon: Earth Day Cleanup

Join me in committing to spend an hour or two cleaning up around your neighborhood or in our parks!

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Filed under Events, Parks, South Milwaukee

February Golf!?

Why not?

With temperatures in the 50s expected, Grant Park is open for walkers only starting on Friday. Think spring!

Learn more here.

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Here’s One Fun And Frigid Way To Welcome The New Year

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It’s South Milwaukee’s version of the Polar Plunge.

From the Polar Bear Dash 5K website

START YOUR NEW YEAR OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT. And then the left! The Polar Bear Dash is a 5k race on New Year’s Day at beautiful Grant Park in South Milwaukee. What sets this race apart from any other 5k race you have done: an optional polar dip into Lake Michigan at the end of the race. There will be a special award to the first few runners who take the dare into the lake immediately after the race.

Of course, the South Milwaukee Fire Department will be on hand to make sure all goes well with the lake plunge. Here is video from their work last year. It looks like it will be another cold one on Friday — high of 22 degrees.

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Beech Street Bridge Put In Place

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Good news for students, dog walkers, bikers and runners: The Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek was put in place on Monday.

According to Milwaukee County, “Work is progressing on the approaches today (Tuesday, Dec. 22).  The bridge is usable but still hard to get to without the approaches. … The bridge should be safely usable by Thursday.”

Paving the approaches and turf restoration will not occur until the spring.

Thanks to the Parks Department for their work in getting this done before Christmas, and to County Supervisor Pat Jursik for leading the charge to get this built as quickly as it is.

This bridge will stand the test of time, and it’s great to see the county’s continued investment in our parks and parkways.

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Oak Creek watershed, Parks, South Milwaukee

Milwaukee Public Museum BioBlitz Coming To Grant Park

One more cool event happening at the park …

From South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik’s new 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.

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Filed under Events, Parks, South Milwaukee