Beerline Bash: Celebrating urban Wisconsin conservation

Ramsey Radakovich, Kevin Haley, Gloria McCutcheon, Dan Kaemmerer, Steve Mech, Sue Black, Guy Smith, Angie Tornes & Jeff Baudry cut the chain opening Milwaukee's Beerline Trail.

What do you get when you cross an abandoned dinner theater, an abandoned railroad line, and some savvy conservationists? A trifecta of conservation opportunity in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood!
On the evening of October 13, GWC had the privilege of co-hosting an event with the River Revitalization Foundation (RRF) – Milwaukee’s urban rivers land trust – to celebrate the demolition of the Wheelhouse and the completion of the Beerline Trail; two dovetailing projects several years in the making.
In late 2009, RRF purchased the 2.8 acre Wheelhouse property – a developed site along the Milwaukee River on the east side of the city that includes the abandoned, former Wheelhouse restaurant. The project will restore blighted urban riverfront land to preserved green space and increase shoreline stabilization and floodplain protection. In addition, the site will connect to the recently-completed Beerline Trail, a segment of Milwaukee County Parks’ Oak Leaf Trail System. The Trail (also a project of RRF), located on an abandoned railroad line formerly known as the “Beerline,” preserves invaluable natural areas along the Milwaukee River, provides public open space and recreational opportunities, and offers commuters access to downtown.
Event attendees enjoyed a leisurely hike along the Trail, a Wheelhouse site tour, and a reception overlooking the Milwaukee River.  (Oh, and pedicab rides back to our cars!) All in all, it was an inspiring and unique opportunity to experience the greening of Milwaukee’s urban landscape and to learn about how GWC and Wisconsin land trusts work together to protect Wisconsin’s special rural and urban places.