I've spent the last few weeks making first time visits to some neighborhood and community parks. Once again, I'm impressed by the green space available to us here in Southeastern Wisconsin. The more we appreciate the parks and nature spaces we do have, the more we will see the value in preserving and developing them.
I love how these spaces are incorporated into our cities, towns and neighborhoods. I am all for preserving large portions of land for wilderness. I love our State Parks, Natural Areas, State Forests, and more. But, I think, more and more, incorporating nature into our everyday environments, our residential areas, even our corporate and business parks, can help to preserve our health, our environment, our wildlife, and, ultimately, our planet.
Neighborhood and community parks make spending time in nature accessible. No need to make it an all day affair (unless, of course, you want to). Studies have shown that just ten minutes in nature can boost your vitamin D levels, reduce your stress level, and improve your mood. I can attest to this. Even if I have just a few minutes to stop at a local park, maybe sit on a bench watching the birds in the trees, or ducks in a pond, walk a simple trail, my spirit feels lifted. Connecting with nature, even in such a minimal way, provides benefits to the mind, body, and soul.
Local parks are a treasure. And they are a large part of why I started TheParkNextDoor. So I am always on a quest to visit more of them, and to share them with you.
Lyons Park - Milwaukee
What a lovely neighborhood park! On my first visit here I was pleased to find paved trails, plowed of snow, a running creek, lots of trees, and the sounds of birds singing in the yet bare branches.
This 12.9 acre park, located on Milwaukee's south side, offers walking trails, a children's playground and wading pool, and lots of trees and greenery.
I look forward to checking it out during spring migration this year!
Bluhm Farm Park
Once the farm land of German immigrants who arrived here in 1863, Bluhm Farm Park is a 50 acre community park in Muskego. The park includes walking trails, multiple sports fields, native prairie land, woodlands, a children's playground, picnic areas, and a rentable shelter.
A gravel walking trail is sometimes partially plowed of snow in winter. Woodland footpaths are not plowed.
There is a short boardwalk along the gravel trail leading towards the woodlands. I expect this to be a great bird watching spot come spring and summer.
Calhoun Park - New Berlin
I visited Calhoun Park for the first time before the early spring thaw.
There was still lots of snow on the ground. This 55 acre community park includes something for everyone. Sports fields, walking trails, a children's playground, a pond with a fishing pier, and picnic spots. There's even a sledding hill for some winter fun.
The walking trail is a little less than a mile, but I hear it can be rather hilly. With warmer days ahead, I intend to find out. As with so many of our parks in Wisconsin, this should be a great spot for bird watching as spring and summer come along.
There are three reservable shelters on site, as well as restrooms during the warmer months.
Creekwood Park - Greenfield
Located on S. 43rd street, Creekwood Park is another little gem of a park. It may be small in size, at 4.2 acres, but it's definitely a lovely respite of nature nestled in this Greenfield neighborhood.
You'll find a paved walking path to the picnic gazebo and children's playground, and a natural foot path through the woodlands along a portion of Honey Creek.
The day I was there Red-winged Blackbirds had arrived, along with Grackles, and American Robins. A group of Mallard ducks were swimming in the creek. With the creek passing through here, it should be a nice little birding spot as spring migration continues.
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A nature lover, bird watcher, wildlife fan, amateur photographer, humane gardener, traveler, and singer of songs. I've been keeping closer to home these days, and truly discovering the beauty that lies in TheParkNextDoor.