Milwaukee Riverkeeper Cleanup a Success

At first glance, our park may look quite clean.

Upon closer inspection though, one might find many plastic bottles and smaller trash such as microplastics in some areas. This trash negatively impact park wildlife and water quality. Thanks to our partnership with Milwaukee Riverkeeper and the support of our volunteers, our park is kept cleaner for all.

Our most recent cleanup was completed on a brisk and sunny April 20th, when 23 volunteers and the DNR got together and collected 17 bags of trash! Afterwards, several of us celebrated the day with other partner organizations and volunteers at Rock The Green. Thank you Riverkeeper, the DNR and volunteers! 

Want to know how you can help with a cleanup? please contact

Fund for Lake Michigan Grant Awarded

Water quality impacts people, plants, and animals. Many species of birds frequent the park, including high numbers of Canada Geese. The geese feed on grass in the park, leaving excrement which negatively impacts water quality and the experience of over 450,000 annual visitors. 

Thanks to a generous grant from Fund For Lake Michigan, FLSP will contract Migratory Bird Management to spray Flight Control® Plus, a non-toxic spray which deters goose populations from taking up residence in the park.  Visitor experience will be enhanced through fewer goose droppings, enabling park patrons to walk freely and enjoy clean, green spaces. Thank you Fund For Lake Michigan!

Bird City Milwaukee

It’s not only winter-worn Milwaukee residents who flock to the lakefront and parks as May rolls around. Birds do too. And lots of them! 

One reason is that Milwaukee is situated in the Mississippi Flyway. And, as Bird City Milwaukee notes, we have over six miles of lakefront and more than 250 hotspots scattered around the area. That’s a big draw for birds throughout the year. And it’s why having safe and bird-friendly environments is so important.

Bird City Milwaukee (BCW), a member of Bird City Wisconsin since 2012, is dedicated to doing just that. It provides education and support to help communities establish and maintain good bird habitats. During its initial years in Milwaukee, BCW was spearheaded by the Urban Ecology Center (EUC), but gradually the management is being turned over to Visit Milwaukee.  As Tim Vargo of the Urban Ecology Center explains, the hope is that under the helm of Visit Milwaukee, Bird City will become “a networking/communication/marketing hub and a go-to place for anybody who wants to know what is happening in Milwaukee any month.” 

To get involved with Bird City Milwaukee, check out its website, social media and Facebook pages. And UEC’s Vargo suggests people can also support the Bird City cause by simply going on a bird walk. If you’re a newcomer to birding, not to worry.  “So many groups love it when new birders come because it’s sharing their passion,” Vargo says. “My suggestion is to get out with someone who can be a mentor and just do it over and over again. The first couple of times it might feel overwhelming but the more you do it, the easier it will be.”

A networking/communication/marketing hub and a go-to place for anybody who wants to know what is happening in Milwaukee any month.

Tim Vargo

May is a great month to get started. Not only is it prime migration season—May 11th is World Migration Day—it’s when the annual Brew City Bird Fest is held! The Urban Ecology Center will be avian central for the fest, May 10-17, offering a variety of cheep fun and informative events, including morning bird walks; a Bird in Arts program; and a Keynote Lecture—Birdie Big Year: Elevating Women Birders by Tiffany Kiersten. A full listing of activities can be found on the Urban Ecology Center website

The Friends of Lakeshore State Park will also be celebrating World Migration Day with a Bird Hike for all ages on Friday, May 10th at 9:30 a.m. Come join us as we search the skies and shore for some of our favorite species. Check our events page for details.

Birds love our city. By supporting Bird City Milwaukee, you can give them a little love them back.

Bird City Milwaukee

Brew City Bird Festival

Purple Martins Get a New Home

On April 5th, the installation of a new purple martin bird house was completed. The house is in the same location on the north end of the park just south of the bridge as the previous house. The house was generously donated by Katie and Doug Fisher. The installation took part in stages and was completed by DNR personnel and volunteers.

Some interesting facts about the installation:

  • The recommended height for a purple martin houses is 10 – 20 feet
  • The house weighs about 72 lbs.
  • An existing steel tube in the ground with a 2” inside diameter was re-used
  • A Schedule 40 steel plumbing pipe was used that fit into the existing tube.
  • Volunteer engineers designed the system to withstand 100 mph gusts
  • Purple martins exhibit site fidelity and they are back! (as seen in photo at top of page)