April 14 2010
Listen: In Milwaukee, we are blessed with a fantastic county parks system. There are wonderful green spaces, wonderfully preserved nature, and activities in every corner of the city. And perhaps none are quite as lucky as the folks living in the Martin Drive, who have Washington Park. Between Highway 41 and 40th Street, Vliet and Lisbon/Lloyd, this beautiful space is one of Milwaukee's three Olmsted Parks (Lake Park and Riverside Park being the other two). It's packed with sports fields, paths, playgrounds, a breathtaking lagoon, a mind-blowingly cool band shell, as well as statues of Schiller and Goethe, just to name a few things.
Look at those two guys -- Schiller and Goethe
You can also find one of the city's highlights in the middle of the park -- the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center. Joey Zocher, Washington Park Program Director, graciously gave me a tour of the park. And because the park is so big, we took a nice bike ride on a beautiful spring day. Part 1 of 2: [audio=1] In the piece, you can hear how excited I get when we see the band shell -- that was actually my first time seeing it and that reaction was totally genuine. Just another one of those things, right under my nose, that required discovering. Also, for whatever reason, something about it (perhaps the color) reminded me of the Secession Building in Vienna.
We start the second part of the tour standing on a boardwalk that seems to come out of nowhere, extending into a small ephemeral pond: [audio=2] I'm actually going to bike through Washington Park right now, on my way to Mary McLeod Bethune Academy. Sunshine, warm weather, and Martin Drive's hometown park...
The Washington Park Urban Ecology Center