|photo by Paul Smith|
When I first googled the term, I forget when, but most likely around 2005 or 2006, only a single mention was found. (Someone had beaten me to it by titling a book about the New York City park system "Urban Wilderness" in 1986.)
Today google alerts me whenever the term is used on the internet. This happens almost weekly. I've been keeping a list of the most notable references and they've come from cities large and small all over the country - and Canada too. The conversation has shifted. People in cities everywhere have learned to value nearby nature, including many civic leaders.
Milwaukee's urban wilderness - it's 10,000 acres of natural areas - is bigger than most. It baffles me that community boosters don't promote this, one of Milwaukee's most significant and valuable assets. I believe we could rival Portland, OR for being a "green city" if we decided to make it a priority. Why not? Where are the civic leaders who will stand up for Milwaukee's prominence as a city with an abundance of nature?