Bridge dedication honors a park supporter who built bridges of cooperation
The bridge at Lakeshore State Park is an important point of connection between downtown and the Third Ward and between the Hank Aaron State Trail and the Oak Leaf Trail. And now the bridge officially recognizes someone known for making connections during his many years of public service.
With Gov. Tony Evers and other dignitaries in attendance, the bridge was officially dedicated as the Richard A. Grobschmidt Memorial Bridge on a sunny October day last year. Everyone who spoke that day remembered Richard (Rick) warmly as someone who reached across the aisle in the service of his community.
I can’t think of a more fitting metaphor than this beautiful Lakeshore State Park bridge. Look out to the shiny bright bridge, with its radiant rows of sunshine beaming skyward. Try to imagine, as we step forward, that Rick is there to carry us across, as he was a true bridge-builder.
~ Barb Grobschmidt
Rick was one of the key visionaries behind Lakeshore State Park and an avid advocate for the South Milwaukee community he represented for 18 years as a state senator and assemblyman. In those and other roles, he was particularly focused on education and became known as a bridge-builder who strove for productive discussions among all political parties. After Rick passed away in 2016, then-Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law naming the bridge after him.
Barb Grobschmidt, who attended the ceremony in honor of her husband, captured the day beautifully when she said, “I can’t think of a more fitting metaphor than this beautiful Lakeshore State Park bridge. Look out to the shiny bright bridge, with its radiant rows of sunshine beaming skyward. Try to imagine, as we step forward, that Rick is there to carry us across, as he was a true bridge-builder.”
Among the many in attendance at the dedication ceremony are, from left: Steve Schmelzer, Wisconsin State Parks Bureau Director, WDNR; David Wenstrup, FLSP President; Gov. Tony Evers; Bill Schmitt, FLSP Building and Facilities Chair; Barb Grobschmidt; and Angela Vickeo, Natural Resources Property Supervisor, Milwaukee State Parks Work Unit, WDNR.
OUTGOING PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
It has been three years since I stepped into the role of president of the Friends of Lakeshore State Park. Over that time, our organization has grown in both numbers and maturity. Through our fundraising efforts and the work of our volunteers, we’ve truly been making a difference to improve the park and benefit the community – thank you volunteers!
One of our most active volunteers recently has been David Wenstrup. He’s been instrumental in writing successful grant requests which have helped fund the ADA accessible fishing pier, improvements to our prairie plantings and other essential programs. And during warmer months, he’s often at the park helping the Wisconsin DNR remove invasive plants.
David retired from GE Healthcare a couple of years ago and is ready to lead us as we take our next steps forward caring for our beautiful gem of a park on the lake. I wish him all the best and will be there for him as past president whenever he needs me. Welcome David.
~ Sue Frautschi
PARK PROPERTY SUPERVISOR UPDATE
Winter is in full swing here at the park, with numerous ice fishermen using the basin hoping to catch record-sized trout. As a reminder, the DNR does not monitor for ice conditions, and no ice is 100% safe. To help you best prepare for safely ice fishing, see the tips provided at Ice safety | Wisconsin DNR.
The goldeneyes, greater and lesser scaups, coots, and mallards are enjoying the open water created by the circulators used to keep the docks and fishing pier ice-free. These waterfowl typically will remain all winter long in open-water areas of the Lake Michigan shoreline.
As we look to the cold, snowy conditions on the park, we like to think about spring to give us a feeling of warmth. Stay tuned for the next newsletter for some exciting news on how to stay engaged in volunteer opportunities at the Park, including some longer-term volunteer positions needed and how to stay informed on special projects like the planting days, invasive species removal, and completion of painting our harbor railing at the south entrance in 2022.
If you’re looking for possibly getting even further involved, we are currently hiring for seasonal positions for Natural Resources Educator and Park and Recreation Specialists. For more information on these positions, and to apply, visit DNR (wisc.jobs) and search for Job ID 4527 for our Milwaukee Properties (Lakeshore State Park, Hank Aaron State Trail, Havenwoods State Forest). Applications for the Milwaukee Work Unit are due 11:59pm on February 13th.
We are continuing to take requests for bench and picnic table sponsorships for 2022. This will be an ongoing initiative until all approved locations have been sponsored. For more information on this opportunity, contact the Milwaukee Work Unit Superintendent, Angela Vickio. Prices for benches are $2500, and picnic tables are $3000, which includes all costs for purchase, plaque, installation, and 10 years of sponsorship.
Looking for an area candlelight hike? The Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail in cooperation with Urban Ecology Center, are hosting the 5th annual Urban Candlelight Hike at Three Bridges Park on February 26th. More information on that event can be found at www.urbancandlelighthike.com. To find more winter recreation opportunities throughout all State Parks, visit Events | Wisconsin DNR.
Thank you to our newest Members! We couldn’t do it without your support and patronage.
Richard & Sharon Canter
David Zepecki & Diane Diel
Andrew & Margaret Krei
Timothy & Sue Frautschi
Sharon Lavin & Joe Neuman
Dan & Pat Fetterley
Bob & Carol Diggelman
Lauren & Taylor Wakefield
Melissa & Stephen DeBot
Douglas & Jane Hagerman