You walk along the Milwaukee River on a path winding six river miles from suburban Glendale to the harbor at Lake Michigan.  Cool river water bubbles over rocks through a protected park bringing neighborhoods and communities together. 

Sheltered above by silver maple, cottonwood and black willow, you cannot see or hear the activity of the densely developed city nearby.  What you notice instead are deeply hued spikes of blue vervain and more delicate lavenders of wild geranium.

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Milwaukee River Greenway
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The path meanders alongside anglers enjoying the improved water quality and fish habitat, canoers and kayakers exploring the natural beauty around fast flowing water.  You see school children taking water samples from the river and delighting in amphibian discoveries.

Increased public access has made the river once again a safe social and recreational gathering place.  The natural corridor is home to the endangered Butler's garter snake, red fox and white tailed deer.  Overhead a Cooper's hawk flies away with a humble vole. 


The river unites a rich working past with an economic, recreational and sustainable present.  Historical markers note former boathouses, tanneries, swimming pools and resorts.  The river corridor is the backbone for our city's green infrastructure, a signature and irreplaceable emblem for Milwaukee's proud legacy of parklands. 

We nurture this urban wilderness and its connection to our spirit.  It is a magnificent place of beauty and refuge in the heart of the community.

From imagination to reality:

We can imagine the Milwaukee River remaining like this.  To make it a reality will take planning and hard work. 

The Milwaukee River Work Group is leading this effort. 

To learn more about their work click here to link to their website:

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Wild Geranium, Cambridge Woods




Milwaukee River Work Group

Milwaukee's Riverkeeper

River Revitalization Foundation

Urban Ecology Center

Milwaukee's Central Park Gallery

Urban Wilderness image galleries

Article: Finding Nature in the City, 2009

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Urban Wilderness: The twin jewels of Riverside and Gordon Parks
(a river runs through them)


Text excerpted and adapted from 
To read the full text and the vision paper for Milwaukee's Central Park go to

Eddee Daniel - Fine Art Photography