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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

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Lakeshore State Park will overlook to the Maier Festival Park, home to Summerfest and ethnic festivals. © Robert Queen
Lakeshore State Park will overlook Maier Festival Park, home to Summerfest and ethnic festivals. © Robert Queen

June 2002

Alliances at work

Partnerships help strengthen community ties.

Sheena Carey

Striding together with Hammering Hank
A popular state park for our most populous city
Going the extra mile for the environment
Helping their community breathe a little easier
Protecting Great Lakes fish

To achieve it's vision for diversity, DNR focuses on building greater diversity in our workforce; enhancing our day-to-day business practices by enhancing our partnerships; and strengthening our community ties. Here are examples of that work in progress.


Striding together with Hammering Hank

Progress on the Hank Aaron State Trail, named after the Baseball Hall of Famer, continues thanks to partnerships to develop, maintain and promote this urban oasis in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley. Aaron began and ended his record-breaking career in Milwaukee.

The Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail leads the pack of trail partners that includes the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Miller Brewing Company, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Potawatomi Casino, M&I Marshall and Ilsley Bank, and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Civic Alliance.

A National Park Service grant helped provide trail signs that interpret natural features and the area's cultural history. Another grant will fund a bicycle/pedestrian ramp and a stairway off of the southern end of the brand new Sixth Street Viaduct. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded the group a grant to incorporate artwork along the trail.

Once completed, the seven-mile long trail will be part of a route that connects Lake Michigan to the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail and other state bike trails reaching to the Military Ridge Trail that ends in Dodgeville. Within the City of Milwaukee, the trail will connect to the future Lakeshore State Park.

To learn more about the trail, friends group, or volunteer and fundraising activities, call Melissa Cook, Hank Aaron State Trail manager, 414/263-8559.

A popular state park for our most populous city

Lakeshore State Park, the first state park developed since 1978, is a 20-acre urban recreational jewel that will extend from Municipal Pier and include Harbor Island in Milwaukee. It will abut, but not include Maier Festival Park – home to ethnic festivals and Summerfest.

Lakeshore State Park will be the easternmost focal point of a recreational trail system that will eventually conect the Lake Michigan shoreline and downtown Milwaukee with the Hank Aaron State Trail, and beyond. As part of the regional open space system, this corridor would also link many cultural, historic and natural sites.

Plans for the park include:

  • Increasing year-round shore fishing on the lake walk and island
  • Restoring a cool-water Lake Michigan fishery through annual stocking of walleye fingerlings and improvements for other cool-water species
  • Developing a visitor's center
  • Developing an observation platform and picnic areas on the island
  • Providing recreation: rollerblading, picnicking, bird watching, walking and jogging and more
  • Developing a 200-foot small boat beach area on the island
  • Constructing a 17-foot-wide lake walk
  • Providing on- and off-property year-round programs on natural, historical and cultural resources

For more information, call Therese Gripentrog, regional landscape architect, (414) 263-8669.

Going the extra mile for the environment

Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO) and Cook Composites and Polymers Company (CCP) are the first companies to volunteer for the state's Environmental Cooperation Pilot Program created by the state legislature in 1997.

By entering into five-year agreements, these two companies made a formal commitment to go beyond normal regulatory requirements, pursue superior environmental performance.

Wisconsin Electric's Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in Kenosha County will reuse coal ash from its landfills as a fuel, reducing coal use, freeing landfill space and protecting groundwater.

WEPCO also will develop and carry out a facility-wide environmental management system to identify, minimize or eliminate environmental consequences of its operations.

The company plans to conduct mercury emissions testing and research, expand its efforts to inform and involve the public in environmental decisions, and publicly report on its environmental performance.

In return, DNR staff will streamline permitting procedures while protecting the environment; eliminate some monitoring requirements; and share more information electronically to reduce paper and enhance decision-making.

CCP agreement covers the company's manufacturing facility in Saukville, Ozaukee County. The facility can produce up to 52 million pounds of resin a year used by industries.

The company's commitment to superior environmental performance includes no longer burning hazardous waste in its incinerator, reducing the wastes generated and contaminants released, and implementing an environmental management system.

CCP will conserve natural resources – including raw materials and energy – and work with neighbors and the community. DNR will provide, expedited review of permits for CCP projects that involve wastewater pretreatment, waste management and air quality.

For more information, call Scott Lee, environmental assistance coordinator, (414) 263-8681.

Helping their community breathe a little easier

The Easy Breathers project, which debuted in January 2002 at Milwaukee's Discovery World Museum, is a high school education project that focuses on air quality issues in problem areas, such as southeastern Wisconsin. Students from four public high schools in Milwaukee have successfully led the Easy Breathers project with DNR's supervision. John Marshall High School's Eagle Wings Productions and Media Makers, Inc. produced A/V materials. Visit Easy Breathers.

Protecting Great Lakes fish

With help from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, there's a lot of good fishing in Wisconsin.

Established by the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between Canada and the United States almost 50 years ago, the Commission has two major responsibilities: coordinating research in the Great Lakes, and based on findings, recommending measures that sustain stocks of fish species that concern Canada and the United States.

Another important goal is eradicating sea lamprey in the Great Lakes. Recent efforts in the Southeast Region have focused on improving stocks of native species like northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass and yellow perch.

For more information, call Brad Eggold, Southern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor, (414) 382-7921.

Sheena Carey is a public and community outreach specialist in the Southeast Region. Call her at (414) 263-8634 with questions about these diversity issues.