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Granville Park Master Plan/Menomonee River Shoreline Protection - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Granville Park Master Plan/Menomonee River Shoreline Protection - Milwaukee, WisconsinR.A. Smith National worked with the River Revitalization Foundation (RRF); Milwaukee County; and a local Friends group, Residents for Off Leash Milwaukee Parks (ROMP) to create a site restoration plan for Granville Park, a 26-acre off-leash dog park in Milwaukee. The park is located upstream of Lake Michigan along the Upper Menomonee River.

The project partners worked together to develop solutions to the park’s severe erosion issues; educate park users on the value of riparian buffers; and improve a dog’s experience.

Each area of the park was analyzed and discussed during several public stakeholder meetings. Input from these meetings coupled with the team’s water resource, ecological and park planning expertise were useful in developing a site restoration plan. The plan depicted a simplified, connected trail network that leads users to a controlled access point along the river, essentially a “dog beach.” Dog-friendly, rubberized erosion control matting was proposed in this area to provide soil stabilization and prevent erosion. Where feasible, native shrub and tree plantings were integrated throughout the protected area to help restore the native riparian habitat.

At the park entrance, a catchment area/gated vestibule was proposed to make it easier for users to safely get their dogs from the parking lot into the dog park. The catchment area leads users to an open common space that contains a kiosk with trail maps, volunteer information and park rules. The open space will also serve as an exercise area for smaller dogs. The next project steps are to secure funding for design development, engineering and  implementation of the park improvements.  The improvements will likely be phased, starting at the river and working upslope to the rest of the park.

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