Nearby Nature Milwaukee Recognizes “Harriet Tubman Day” with a Water Trail Hike.
April 11, 2023 | Topics: Events
By David Thomas
Photography by Eddee Daniel
Most people know the story of Harriet Tubman, known by some as the “Black Moses” who led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom. March 10th is now celebrated as Harriet Tubman Day, as she died on March 10, 1913, at the age of 91.
In Milwaukee, Harriet Tubman Park sits at the intersection of 48th Street and Hampton Avenue on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The park was renamed in 2020, through a resolution introduced by County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor, as a way to better represent the community and as a reminder of the importance of equity in County Parks.
Nearby Nature Milwaukee, an organization that works for environmental justice and equity, holds monthly outings, usually at 10 am on the second Saturday of each month. Nearby Nature has been working to bring attention to the Lincoln Creek Greenway and encouraging stakeholders to engage in renewal and revitalization. It was logical, therefore, to recognize Harriet Tubman Day, which was done with a walk through the park and along a narrow waterway that borders the park to where it joins Lincoln Creek.
On a cold, snowy March 11th, friends gathered in the park and talked a bit about Tubman’s legacy and the important role waterways played in helping enslaved Americans escape to the north. The Little Calumet River in Chicago, for example, is officially recognized as part of the underground railroad and designated as part of The African American Heritage Water Trail.”
Participants shared other bits of Milwaukee history, reminding us that Milwaukeeans helped resist the Fugitive Slave Act when a mob freed Joshua Glover on March 11, 1854 and aided him in his escape to Canada. Another African American did not fare as well in Milwaukee. In 1861 a mob lynched George Marshal Clark in downtown Milwaukee.
When the small creek we’d been following reached and spilled into larger Lincoln Creek we observed the contrast. The former is essentially a ditch channelized with concrete, while the latter, which once suffered the same fate, is now rejuvenated. In 2003, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District completed a major project that involved, among other things, removing the concrete channel and re-naturalizing the creek.
During the walk from Tubman Park to Lincoln Creek the group saw much trash along the waterways. We were reminded that Nearby Nature and partners are calling for volunteers to participate in the Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup on April 22nd by signing up for one of 11 locations along Lincoln Creek. Volunteers should go to www.bit.ly/LincolnClean23 to sign up.
Lincoln Creek: A Vital Summit and a Visual Tour
Lincoln Creek Greenway: Pocket of Paradise
David Thomas is Project Coordinator for Nearby Nature MKE. Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks.
One thought on "Nearby Nature Milwaukee Recognizes “Harriet Tubman Day” with a Water Trail Hike."
I grew up near Lincoln Creek on 53rd St. We used to ice skate on the creek to the park (called Wahl Park at the time), walk up the hill, skate on the park pond, then skate back home before dark.
Comments are closed.