On Saturday, June 25th, 50 people participated in the Lincoln Creek Greenway Summit. Above is a photo of the opening ceremony lead by drummer and poet Jahmes Finlayson.  Eighteen organizations were listed as participants in the Summit program booklet.  Photographer Kimani WInfield documented the event. Here is a Facebook Album of photos.

Photo of people walking in nature

Nearby Nature’s Land Steward and Youth Educator Martina Patterson with Land Steward Intern CJ Caraos alongside, leads a lunchtime walk-and-talk

In the months before the Summit, Nearby Nature Milwaukee conducted a series of “Lincoln Creek Conversations”, bringing together dozens of stakeholders to hear about issues and concerns.  A summary of those conversations can be found at this link.

Thanks to so many people who were involved, but especially to Water Justice Public Ally Leena Le, the Lincoln Creek Summit was a great success.  This was Leena’s primary project for the past 3 months.  Also a special shout out to the Nearby Nature staff and summer Land Steward Interns who did all the footwork to keep the program running smoothly.

Special thanks also need to go out to Angela Vickio and her staff at Havenwoods for hosting the event and setting aside space for us.  Thanks also to State officials, WDNR Secretary Preston Cole for his inspiring welcoming remarks, to Representative Supreme Moore Omokunde for taking time

Photo of participants in discussion

Water Justice Ally and summit coordinator Leena Le records comments by session presenter Sheila Smith of Northwest Side CDC

from his busy schedule and to Natural Resources Board member Sharon Adams for breakout facilitation.  Thanks again to Lamont Smith and The Nature Conservancy for generously providing coffee, rolls and lunch.  We would have been very hungry without you!  Our friends at Northwest Side CDC and River Revitalization Foundation have been some of our most steadfast friends and partners for which we are grateful.  We are extremely grateful for the support of Jeff Spence and partners at MMSD,  Jessica Wineberg of County Parks, folks at Milwaukee Water Commons, Milwaukee Riverkeeper and Triangle Neighborhood Association for ongoing support.  According to much feedback, everyone appreciated Audubon – Wild Indigo’s Milton Byers and his group of youth interns that brought so much fresh perspective and energy to the event.  Finally a big thanks go to everyone for showing up and making a difference.

Plans for the Future

According to closing remarks by David Thomas, Nearby Nature Project Coordinator, this is the beginning, of a grass-roots driven effort to renew and revitalize the Lincoln Creek Greenway.  Here is a quick summary of the plan:  In mid-July, we hope to release a full summary on the discussions that took place at the Summit. Along with this, we will be sending a survey, requesting feedback and asking you to think about your level of commitment to this effort. In September or October, we hope to convene the first meeting of a Lincoln Creek work group that will lay groundwork for building a coalition and a work plan.  The work plan would be a living document of projects, new, in progress and imagined, that we can all get behind.

With many partners involved, we hope we will see a glowing and beautiful Lincoln Creek Greenway in our future.

Epilogue: Here is a link to a great article by Eddee Daniel providing a visual tour of Lincoln Creek and the Summit