Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beautiful day on the County Grounds draws supporters to the Monarch Trail

Cool and breezy, not a cloud in the sky: a great time to visit the Monarch Trail on the County Grounds in Wauwatosa. A steady stream of people did just that. Many had come to take advantage of the lovely weather to walk the trail. Others stopped by to purchase plants being sold to support the Friends of the Monarch Trail and their efforts to preserve and maintain butterfly habitat.

I stopped by to chat and take a few photos to share.

Friends of the Monarch Trail supporters gathered along Eschweiler Drive.

Walking the Monarch Trail near the Eschweiler complex.

Monarch Trail leader Barb Agnew showed me where to find this warbler nest in the tall grass of the Eschweiler complex quadrangle. It was completely invisible to the untrained eye (and therefore easy to miss and step on!) Good reason to stay on the marked trails and to keep dogs on a leash. Moreover, it demonstrates the importance of maintaining unmowed sections of grassland.

I can think of few things that better symbolize the fragility of life and the importance of habitat preservation than ground nesting birds.

The ABB building is now open for business. Beyond, construction continues on the new Watertown Plank Road interchange.

Three seedlings have been planted here on the ABB parcel of Innovation Park, across the road from the Monarch Trail.

The brisk wind drew at least one kite flyer to the hilltop next to Discovery Parkway.

The Milwaukee County Grounds, as I have long advocated, can be a place for small adventures as well as for health and well-being. The healing potential of nature nearby has come to be more widely recognized as our lives have become more urbanized. Dr. Marc Gorelick of Children's Hospital has written a blog post about this recently: Hitting the Wellness Trail.


  1. I biked through the county grounds last Sunday, needing a personal update on the changes that the road construction and Innovation Campus have brought. I was sorry to see some remembered wild spaces nibbled away and civilized with sidewalks and orderly landscaping. I will have to revisit and walk the new trails for a closer look. Thanks for the peek at what is still wild, your shot of the nesting birds is priceless.
    Jim Wend

  2. Thanks, Jim. There's no doubt that long-time lovers of the County Grounds are finding it harder to love these days, but there are still good reasons to go there and places to enjoy.