Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall Color Walk at Lincoln Park

enjoyed a walk in the park with Friends of Lincoln Park last Sunday. Award winning photographer (and EPA project manager) Brenda Jones joined us to give tips on fall color photography.  And Julie, plant biologist helped with tree and plant identification to make this an educational and soul-stirring event.

This is an area that was under construction this summer. I look forward to when the Estabrook Dam is functioning again and see an increase in river depth in this area.

High Cliff State Park on Lake Winnebago

High Cliff State Park is named for a limestone Cliff of the Niagara Escarpment, which parallels the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago. A 125-acre within the 1,196-acre park is designated as a state natural area in recognition of its excellent cliff environments and more than a mile of Lake Winnebago shoreline.

The Niagara Escarpment features both shaded and exposed cliff habitats and the talus slopes supporting wet-mesic forest. Outstanding examples of conical and effigy mounds are in the level woodland above the escarpment.

Lime Kiln features...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall at Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve

Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve represents one of the last stretches of undeveloped bluff land along the Lake Michigan shoreline, from Mequon up to Port Washington.
Over 1/2 mile of 90- to 100-foot bluffs look out onto Lake Michigan, offering tremendous viewing opportunities for residents and visitors.Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve is also adjacent to a 44-acre wetland complex owned by United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for enhancing populations of migratory birds and other wildlife.

 This park offers tremendous views. Stroll across bridges over the gorge or down the gorge stairways to walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline. This 73-acre park offers plenty of hiking trails, boardwalks through the wetlands, picnic areas, scenic views, and restrooms.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall at Estabrook Park...

Located along the eastern border of Glendale, Estabrook Park boasts the Oak Leaf Trail, inline hockey, sand volleyball, soccer fields, softball diamonds, a dog exercise area, one of Milwaukees original beer gardens, along with the continuing seven year saga of the Estabrook dam.

Known as "Terra Vista", this outcropping dates from the late Devonian Period in earth history, 417-354 million years ago. It differs from the more common Silurian reef deposits found regionally in that just enough shale is associated with the limestone to make high quality water resistant cement. The Milwaukee Cement Company quarried this site for over thirty years in the late 1800's, until a flood redirected the Milwaukee River and operations had to be shut down.

The gates of the Estabrook dam have been left open since 2008. This dam has been slated for repair and the funds have been appropriated by Milwaukee County and the Wisconsin DNR. However, the Milwaukee Riverkeepers continue to push their lawsuit to prevent this from happening. Right now, this is dependent on a fish passage to be included in the Milwaukee County budget.  See the JS Online article.  Here are the facts from a recent Glendale Forum on the matter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Historic Brewer's Hill

The name Brewers' Hill is derived from the large number of brewery workers and owners that once inhabited the area. Just to the south of the neighborhood, the Schlitz and Blatz breweries were once in operation.
The Historic Brewers Hill neighborhood is located on bluffs overlooking the Milwaukee River valley, which emerged as the river, century after century, cut into its valley. The neighborhood remains as one of two residential areas from the City of Milwaukee’s original settlement period during the 1830s but it wasn’t until the 1850s that the neighborhood was officially plated on paper as Sherman’s Addition to Kilbourntown.

The commercial importance of the Milwaukee River set into an important series of events for Brewers Hill. From 1860 to 1930, industries that developed along the river bank, such as foundries, mills, tanneries, and breweries, generated a demand for services and housing stock. Brewers Hill prospered as hundreds of Milwaukeeans moved to the neighborhood, which offered sweeping views, easy access to Downtown, and close proximity to large employers on the riverfront. The neighborhood became an important residential enclave sandwiched between the factories that lined Commerce Street and the bustling retail centers of then-Third Street and North Avenue. Great economic diversity marked the area’s early years with business owners living next to laborers, leading to a mixture of grand houses on large lots next to closely spaced workers cottages and duplexes.
After the 1930s, the neighborhood fell into a state of disrepair as business left the river valley and residents left Brewers Hill. While many of the original houses survived the decline of the post WWII years, the city was forced to demolish a number of abandoned buildings in the 1960’s and 1970’s, leaving gaps in the streetscape of Brewers Hill. A residential renaissance emerged in the late 1970s as an interest in revitalization swept through the neighborhood. Because of the architectural diversity of the existing housing stock and location near Downtown, many old homes, often dilapidated or boarded-up, experienced the slow, arduous process of rehabilitation. In 1981, residents formally incorporated as the Historic Brewers Hill neighborhood association (HBHA), dedicated to revitalizing and improving Brewers’ Hill.