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Three Bridges Park Grand Opening!

Written by Glenna Holstein
    Wednesday, 03 July 2013
Three Bridges Park Grand Opening!

We are thrilled to announce that on Saturday, July 20th, Three Bridges Park will open in the Menomonee Valley! I can't wait to help you explore this 24-acre brownfield-turned-greenspace!

This park marks the fourth and final piece in the "From the Ground Up" campaign, a joint effort of the Center, the Menomonee Valley Partners, the City of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin and many corporate and individual donors to revitalize the Valley and reconnect it to surrounding communities. As the land is healed, the community can become more vibrant.

I talk and think about this project so often that it's a little bit difficult for me to find the words to express how absolutely incredible a milestone this is. So I'd like to try something a little bit different — I want to share a poem of mine that was inspired by a visit to the brownfield that would become Three Bridges Park. I hope it captures some of the work and the hopes that have gone into this park, and the essence of what it will be:

Three Bridges Park is truly a story of renaissance, or rebirth. So think of the grand opening really like the park's "re-birthday." It's going to be a ton of fun, just like a good birthday party should be. And just as with all birthdays, the reason they are exciting is not just because of what happens on that day--they celebrate the whole life that lies ahead. So we hope that you'll all join us for the fun on July 20th (see our calendar for details) and that after that you'll all continue celebrating the life of the park for years to come!

My boots press into the gravel path
Shifting tiny stones
Crunching them into each other.
I tread delicately
Among the mounds of abused earth
Determined to trample this land no more.
Sprinkles of water
Hurled at me by the wind
Become lines of sting, then cold, then wet
Upon my face.
Rain carves curling rivulets
Into the cold, damp earth
And settles in swirling puddles
At the base of every hill.
There is nothing here but mud
Miles and piles of mud.

It is only faith that convinces me
That someday soon it will be more.
That someday soon

Rivulets will become roots-
       for big bluestem
       and purple coneflower.
Puddles will become sanctuaries
       for sleek, glistening salamanders.
Saplings, not even planted
       will stretch into strong oaks
       where chipmunks and children
       carefully cache their treasures.
Yes, only faith
And the brave bold piping
       of a nesting killdeer
Tells me this can be done.

Glenna Holstein

Glenna Holstein

Glenna grew up a mile up the river from the Riverside Park, so the Urban Ecology Center has always been important to her. Her studies and work have taken her all over the hemisphere, but her home has always been right here in Milwaukee. As Menomonee Valley Branch Manager, she is delighted to be part of the team that is working to connect a new community to the nature in their neighborhood. Her favorite things to do include hiking, exploring, cooking, singing, building forts, and trying to convince children that cockleburs are really baby porcupines!

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