Tag Archives: Grant Park

Wind Damages Grant Park Picnic Pavilion Roof

5A roof 15A roof 2

Significant wind damage was reported today to the roof of the historic picnic structure at Grant Park picnic area 5A.

Many of the shingles were blown away. No one was hurt.

I’ll keep you posted on a repair plan, although I’m told summer activities at the facility shouldn’t be impacted. That’s some good news in all of this.

There are also multiple power outages on the north end of South Milwaukee, according to the We Energies outage map at 3:15 p.m.

Thanks to Michael Wrench and Jacob Klingforth from the Parks Department for the info and photos.

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Filed under Grant Park, South Milwaukee

Three Injured In Grant Park Crash; OWI Suspected

From the South Milwaukee Police Department …

On January 18, 2016, SMPD Officers were dispatched to a single car accident in Grant Park.  Officers located a vehicle, approximately 80 feet from the roadway, off Grant Park Drive and into the woods, near the south end of the “S-Curves.” 

The three occupants of the vehicle, all adults from Milwaukee, were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of non-life-threatening, injuries.

The 32 year old driver is being investigated on suspicion of Operating While Intoxicated.

The South Milwaukee Police Department reminds motorists to drive sober, wear their seatbelts at all times, and obey speed limits to prevent motor vehicle accidents. 

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


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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Filed under Events, 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

Now Open: Ferch’s Beachside

Ferch's 8 Ferch's 9 Ferch's 5 Ferch's 3 Ferch's 1

Good things — like mouth-watering burgers, custard and beer — come to those who wait.

And the wait is over for Ferch’s Beachside.

The new Grant Park Beach concessionaire served its first burgers, custard and beer at Saturday night’s Beach Walk, and it was a hit. (My family and I were a few of their early customers.)

Please join me in welcoming Dale, Betty, Jeff and all the Ferchoffs and their employees to town.

They plan to open on select weekend days in September, and then hit it hard in 2016 and beyond. Check their Facebook page for more details on specific hours and offerings.

This is an exciting development for Grant Park and the entire city, another sign of the progress we’re seeing when it comes to attracting sustainable new business to South Milwaukee. Let’s get behind it!

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Celebrating Our Parks: Several Cool Events Coming Up

Mill Pond winter

Just a reminder that the Restore the Lagoon group is holding its fundraising festival this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Mill Pond on Oak Creek Parkway.

Enjoy food, drinks, live music, a silent auction, a kids’ corner and more for this second-annual event. Check out a flyer and more information on Restore efforts on the Restore the Lagoon Facebook page.

Also, our local Friends groups are planning several special events in September …

  • September 12: Grant Park Beach Walk, 5-9 p.m. Enjoy a lighted walk on the beach, music, s’mores and more.
  • September 19: Grant Park Beach cleanup. 9-11 a.m. Learn more here.
  • September 26: Mill Pond Warming House open house, noon to 4 p.m. Celebrate restoration efforts with food, raffles and more.

Learn more about the beach walk and open house here.


Filed under Grant Park, Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Beach Food: Limited Opening For Ferch’s This Week

Ferch logoJust in time for the holiday weekend … some good news for Grant Park, and South Milwaukee.

The owners of Ferch’s Beachside tell me they plan to open Friday with a temporary menu of hot, dogs, brats, beer, soda and water, as buildout of their beach concession space continues.

For now, until they are open with a full menu in a fully renovated new space, days of operation will include weekends and volleyball league nights (Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays), with hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Let’s welcome Ferch’s to town … and be patient for their more formal opening (with burgers, custard, etc.) later this summer.


Filed under Grant Park, Parks, South Milwaukee

Happy July 4th: See You At Grant Park On Saturday!

July 4th a-frame

Plan on bringing your family and friends to Grant Park for our July 4th festivities on Saturday.

The fun starts at 10 a.m., and the day includes bike judging, games, bouncy houses, music and more … oh, and a free lunch, with the second-annual Mayor’s Picnic.

Learn more in my previous post. And thanks again to our sponsors!

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Grant Park Updates: Oak Leaf Trail, Last Call For Beer Garden

Beer garden

A couple quick updates on the ongoing work in Grant Park …

  • First, I’m told repaving and widening work on the Oak Leaf Trail through the park is expected to start around July 13. It will begin near the golf course clubhouse and work north, with a completion date around August 20. The park drive may be closed for a short period during tree removal. This is a significant project that is long overdue — and just one of a number of upgrades planned along the Oak Leaf Trail and other trails throughout the region. Learn more here and here.
  • The traveling beer garden at Picnic Area 5 ends Sunday night. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with last call at 9. It’s been a big success, by all accounts, and sales are very strong. Now let’s work on bringing it back in 2016!

More to come in the park this summer, as Ferch’s Beachside continues to work toward its opening … stay tuned.

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Mobile Beer Garden Opens Wednesday!

Beer garden 2

Beer garden 1 Beer garden 3

The 2015 Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Garden tour makes a stop in South Milwaukee and Grant Park starting Wednesday.

Join me at 4 p.m. for a ceremonial keg tapping at Picnic Areas 5-6. The garden is then open to 10 p.m., with last call at 9.

The garden will appear at Grant Park through June 28.

Check out hours and more information here. From the parks …

Each of the stops on the 16-week tour features craft beer, gourmet sodas, Hard Root Beer, Hard Ginger Beer, and other refreshments from Sprecher Brewing. Authentic German food is available from Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub. The Traveling Beer Garden™ is run by Milwaukee County Parks concessions staff. All revenue collected goes back into improving the parks across Milwaukee County.

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South Milwaukee: A Great Place For Runners

But don’t take my word for it.

Instead, listen to Olympic hopeful Lauren Kleppin, who was profiled recently in this Milwaukee Running Festival blog post

Although Kleppin has run in some of the world’s most scenic locations, Milwaukee’s run trails will always hold a special spot in her heart. “Milwaukee is an amazing setting for a race,” Kleppin said. “I personally love running along the Oak Leaf Trail, or down by the art museum while taking in the views of Lake Michigan, enjoying the nice breeze, and the unique architecture. I think my favorite Milwaukee running memories are just a cluster of amazing training days in high school with fun teammates through Grant Park. More specifically, my favorite days were in the fall when the leaves were colorful and crunchy and it was cross-country season.”

South Milwaukee = runner friendly. Why not?

Add this to the list of things we should be promoting about our fair city. Spread the word!

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Filed under Parks, South Milwaukee, Sports

Cleaning Up Grant Park, And South Milwaukee

Cleanup 1 Cleanup 2 Cleanup 3 Cleanup 4What a turnout at today’s Grant Park cleanup!

More than 80 people took part, including 60 from the South Milwaukee boys’ track team and another dozen or more from Marquette University and their Hunger Clean Up effort. Thanks to the Friends of Grant Park for all of their work in keeping this community treasure beautiful.

And our cleanup work is just getting started.

Don’t forget about next Saturday’s Earth Day cleanup, held around the city. Learn more here, and bring a friend, three or five. Big groups are welcome — there is plenty of work to do!

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Head To The Beach: Exciting News For Grant Park, And All Of South Milwaukee

Burgers, custard and beach volleyball – consider it three more reasons to head to Grant Park this summer.

Milwaukee County has agreed to a long-term contract with a partner that will bring beach volleyball to Grant Park this summer and beyond – and is closing in on a deal that will breathe new life into the concession space at the beach.

First, information on the concessionaire.

Ferch’s Beachside – owned by the same family behind Ferch’s Malt Shoppe & Grille in historic downtown Greendale – is planning to open early this summer and offer burgers, custard, beer and more. The owners are also doing extensive remodeling to the space, which hasn’t been used in more than five years.

On Tuesday, the county’s Parks, Energy & Environment Committee unanimously recommended approval of a long-term lease with Ferch’s, and the full Milwaukee County Board is expected to take up the issue at its April 24 meeting.

I spoke to Dale Ferchoff today, and he is excited to come to South Milwaukee.

Just feet away from the concession space, volleyball courts are already going up.

The county has already contracted with Chicago-based Cities and Sports to run the volleyball activities at the beach, which will include two-, four- and six-person men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues starting June 1. As many as 18 courts are planned, and they’ll be available for general public use when not used by leagues or tournaments.

  • Find more details on the volleyball here. League registration is now open, currently for teams looking to play on Thursdays and Sundays.
  • And here is more information on Ferch’s.

I want to thank Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik, County Executive Chris Abele, the Parks Department and other county officials for their work in bringing these additions to the beach, and for their support of the park overall. I’m proud to stand behind their efforts.

These are game-changing initiatives that will not only bring an energy to Grant Park not seen in years, but they will also lift our entire city. I can’t wait.

Of course, the beach additions are just two of the exciting things happening at Grant Park this summer and beyond. Check out my previous post for more on those.

Efforts include the repaving  the entire length of the Oak Leaf Trail in the park starting this year, and the Traveling Beer Garden, presented by Sprecher Brewing and Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub, which is appearing at Grant Park’s Brown Pavilion (Picnic Area 5-6) June 16-28. There have also been environmental investments made, including a new rain garden near the beach, new trees throughout the park and bluff stabilization work.

Look for more details on these exciting developments soon, and spread the word!


Filed under Grant Park, Parks, South Milwaukee

2015: A Big Year For Grant Park

Oh deer 2Reposting this due to an issue with a link.

A repaved Oak Leaf Trail. An appearance by the Mobile Beer Garden. Beach upgrades.

I am excited to see the work Milwaukee County is doing to invest in Grant Park.

This is such an iconic part of South Milwaukee, a symbol of both of our proud past and promising future. And I can’t think of a more promising year for the park than this year.

Learn more in the press release … and stay tuned for even more news this spring.

Thanks to Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik, County Executive Chris Abele, the Friends of Grant Park and everyone else for their continued focus on enhancing the county’s second-largest park. I proudly stand behind their efforts. They are making a difference.

(I took that photo  in Grant Park after a recent snowstorm, when the park looked magical in a coat of freshly fallen snow.)


Filed under Grant Park, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

July 4th Celebration: What Did You Think?

So, we tried a few new things at this year’s July 4th celebration, including the Mayor’s Picnic (free lunch for all attendees) and the addition of bouncy houses.

Just wondering … what did you think of the event this year? What should we consider adding in 2015, or taking away? Any other changes we should consider?

Post your comments below!


Filed under Community, South Milwaukee