We've Got a Name!

Written by Glenna Holstein
    Monday, 20 May 2013
We've Got a Name!

By now, I think most of you know that the Urban Ecology Center now has a branch in the Menomonee Valley! What you may or may not know is that Menomonee Valley branch is just one piece of a larger project, called “From the Ground Up,” which is a combined effort the Urban Ecology Center, the Menomonee Valley Partners, the City , the State, and many others. This summer, we are putting into motion the final piece in the From the Ground Up project: on July 20th (save the date!) we are opening at brand new 24 acre park, next to the Center on a former brownfield site.

The park will have hills shaped like glacial formations, a mile extension of the Hank Aaron trail, hiking and walking paths, native flowers, grasses and trees to provide habitat for native animals, and even a canoe launch! It will provide access to green space for neighborhoods that haven’t been connected to one for over a generation, and it will become the Outdoor Classroom for the Urban Ecology Center. This park is hugely important for the neighborhood, and for Milwaukee as a whole, and I really believe that this project and the partnership that has emerged from it will serve as models for collaborative urban park development across the country. (I might be a little biased, but I really think this is big!).

This week, we hit a major milestone in the project and were able to announce that a name has been chosen for the park! If you’re a diligent blog follower, you’ll recall that a couple months ago, we sent out a call for suggestions for names. Thanks to the contributions of you and many others, we received 777 submissions! The names were vetted through a selection committee comprised of project partners and leaders from nearby neighborhoods. The committee came up with nearly 20 different criteria that we wanted the name to meet, ranging from telling the story of the place to sounding good for a kid yelling “Hey, Mom, I’m going down to ______ Park!” Throughout the hundreds of pages of name submissions and descriptions, the themes that surfaced over and over again were ideas about connections. So “Three Bridges Park” emerged as a name that would both literally represent the park (with its three bridges at 37th, 33rd, and 27th), but would also capture the essence of the park as a place that will bridge diverse communities, bridge nature and neighborhood, and bridge past and future.

The name will go before the Common Council and Natural Resources Board in coming weeks for official approval, but they are all expected to approve the name without contest, so it can officially be known as Three Bridges Park from now on!

Three Bridges Park Rendering by Wenk Associates

A rendering of Three Bridges Park after 30 years of growth. Rendering by Wenk Associates.
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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