Sunday, October 27, 2013

County Grounds update: Discovery Parkway opens

View of Discovery Parkway looking north toward Swan Blvd.
If you live in Wauwatosa, as I do, and have been avoiding the Swan Boulevard route through the Milwaukee County Grounds because it's been closed for so long, there is now a detour through Innovation Park. The connecting road, called Discovery Parkway, between Swan and Watertown Plank was quietly opened last Monday. It will become the main thoroughfare for Innovation Park, the first two components of which are currently under construction. For a more detailed account of these developments, read the article in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel business section.

Some of my readers will remember that the construction of Discovery Parkway began with a bang last January when the land was cleared of its tree cover. (See previous post.) As promised at the time, new trees have been planted (see below). Unfortunately, more trees have recently been cut to make way for the new cloverleaf ramp that will be part of the redesigned Watertown Plank Road interchange at Highway 45.

Location of the new ramp
I visited the Grounds over the weekend and have some photos to share. In addition to the new road I was able to check in on volunteers with the Friends of the Monarch Trail who were out in force with spades and trowels. They were planting milkweed, which is an essential plant for the Monarch butterflies.

500 plugs of milkweed were planted by Friends of the Trail
South entrance to Discovery Parkway from Watertown Plank
View of Parks Administration Building from new entrance
North end of Discovery Parkway
View west across Discovery Parkway towards Eschweiler Bldgs
View east across County Grounds Park towards Milwaukee
Friends of the Monarch Trail trail marker flag
Lu Ann and Jan planting milkweed
Fred and Dan doing likewise

Barb Agnew, director of the Friends of the Monarch Trail, leads a tour of the trail and, here, one of the new biofiltration basins that will treat storm runoff.

On my way to Innovation Park, I almost stepped on this garter snake. It quickly slid off the gravel road surrounding the detention basin where I was walking. I consider it a good omen that it escaped harm.


  1. So over-engineered and unnecessary--it looks like a bizarre industrial park built by someone who owned a gabion coompany. The spindly trees planted in front of the Parks office are particularly bittersweet given the 100 year old plus old guard trees that were previously there and cut down for no other reason than re-grading the western side of the entrance and needing a place to put the soil taken out of the road entrance/canyon that they built. The bioretention basins will at least be a good feature once they grow in. So backwards for a forward-looking university.

  2. Environmental rape!