Help Us Plan for the Future in Riverside Park

Written by Jamie Ferschinger
    Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Help Us Plan for the Future in Riverside Park

The land just west of our Riverside Park branch, between the Center and the Milwaukee River, has an interesting and varied history of land uses – industrial factory, yarn company, and salvage business, to name a few – and now we want to hear your ideas on how it will be used next!

The salvage business was one of the most recent uses of the property, operated by Pieter Godfrey, a long-time friend and supporter of the Urban Ecology Center. Pieter owned and lived on the land for many years and watched the neighborhood transition from a high crime area to one that is vibrant and full of life; he also watched the Urban Ecology Center grow up.

riverland panorama phot by Sarina Counard-Ryals
Our Riverside Park building lies just beyond the warehouse on the right, and the Milwaukee River lies just beyond the treeline on the left. What would you like to see done with this parcel? Photo: Sarina Counard-Ryals

After his passing, the Center purchased Pieter’s three parcels of land and its two warehouses. When we purchased the land we did not have an intentional plan for the future land use of this land that we began affectionately calling "Riverland." Since then we've added to the varied story and history of the land: one of the warehouses was found structurally unstable, deconstructed, and its parcel graded; the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum was constructed on the surrounding brown field complete with a stone arch entrance; a series of nine rock cairns were built and installed (i.e. the Three Billion Year Walk). The remaining warehouse started to be used for UEC storage with a portion is rented as an apartment, and a UEC plant nursery was established.   

Now we are at the point when we would like to start thinking intentionally about how the land could be better used or developed to serve the needs of the community, and the UEC. And who better to ask about the needs and interests of the community than YOU!

We would love to hear your thoughts about how you would like to see Riverland used/developed for our community’s current and future needs. We are wondering what service, space, or program you think would enhance your neighborhood? Conversely, what would you not be excited to see?

So, we are inviting you to share your ideas with us; all of you, kids, families, and adults. This could occur in a few ways:

  1. Attend one of our Community Input Sessions scheduled for July 18 or 31, 6-7:30 pm
  2. Complete this online survey (This survey is now closed. Thanks to all who gave input!)
  3. Stop by the Riverside Park UEC and ask Jamie for a paper version of the survey
  4. Reach out to Jamie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone (414-964-8505), or stop by our Riverside Park location

Please consider sharing your ideas and help us plan for the next chapter of Riverland and we are asking for your ideas to help us make it great! Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

Jamie Ferschinger

Jamie Ferschinger

With a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Communications and a Master's degree in Conservation Biology, Jamie brings a wealth of experiences and deep passion to her work at the Urban Ecology Center. As Branch Manager of the Riverside Park Branch, she helps to ensure that things are running smoothly and everybody is happy! Outside of work, Jamie enjoys running when the sun is coming up, spending time outside, cooking, listening to music and traveling to new places.


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