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The rolling hills of County Grounds Park

Kickoff event for new group: Friends of County Grounds Park

February 3, 2020  |  Topics: Events

The Park People is pleased to announce the formation of Friends of County Grounds Park (FOCGP). The new group’s mission is to protect and improve the natural areas and wildlife habitat of County Grounds Park and to continue the tradition of using this land to promote community health and
wellness. County Grounds Park especially appeals to naturalists, hikers, birders, photographers, and educators. The historical site of the farms, woods, and gardens of a former behavioral healthcare facility, it also appeals to enthusiasts of history, cemeteries, and health care.

Friends of County Grounds Park kickoff event

Sunday, February 16 from 1:30-3:30

Location: Wauwatosa Library Firefly Room

7635 W North Ave, Wauwatosa, WI

The kickoff event will include pizza/snacks, staffed information stations, signups for 2020 events, and volunteer coordination. Registration is not required, but is appreciated for planning purposes: Register here. The event is free and open to the public.

County Grounds Park consists of significant, distinctive habitats that host several endangered species alongside historic infrastructures and includes several acres of an old growth forest known as Sanctuary Woods. In 2017 Sanctuary Woods received national recognition when The Cultural Landscape Foundation included it on its annual “Landslide” list of threatened cultural landscapes. In 2019 Sanctuary Woods was featured as chapter 84 in the recent tour guidebook, 111 Places in Milwaukee You Must Not Miss by Michelle Madden. Also, in 2019 there were three events for the removal of buckthorn, an invasive species, to help restore the life-cycle of remnant oak savanna.

Friends of County Grounds Park is forming now in response to the City of Wauwatosa’s recent re-zoning of 58- acres, including Sanctuary Woods, into conservation status. This land will be annexed to the existing 55-acre County Grounds Park. 2020 FOCGP activities will include regular seasonal guided tours, additional removal of invasive species, and a popup beer garden and kite event on July 11th. The group’s initiatives also include developing ecosystem and wildlife revitalization, native plant restoration, uses of the park that promote health and wellness, signage that improves access and consistency of usage, and collaboration with Milwaukee County Parks.

With its rolling hills, wide vistas of downtown Milwaukee, and unique combination of habitats, County Grounds Park is poised to join other county gems like Whitnall Park and the Lakefront. It is accessible from 87th Street north of Watertown Plank Road and Discovery Parkway south of Swan Boulevard in Wauwatosa.

More information on the new Friends of County Grounds Park website.

Text courtesy Friends of County Grounds Park. Featured image at top by Eddee Daniel. All other images by Danielle Pahlisch.