Park People Spring 2017 Newsletter

President's Perspective

As referenced in our Winter Newsletter, our Executive Director Jim Goulee will be retiring at the end of May. 

retirement_roadJim Goulee served as Executive Director since 2006.  Prior to The Park People, he spent 33 years with the Milwaukee County Parks Department in various positions and ended his career serving 17 years as a Regional Manager in the operations division. When hired for the job he stated, “It is very gratifying to have been selected to continue my relationship with The Park People as Executive Director. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors to position the organization so it can better serve the long term needs of our park system."

Since then, Jim has been instrumental in building and growing our organization.  Jim has been the foundation of the Park People, from ensuring our overall operations ran effectively to enabling key initiatives such as our Oak Leaf Discovery Tour®, Weed-Out® and Park Market.  Jim has been the source of information, knowing everyone and everything required to simply ‘get things done’.  The Park People also appreciates the support through the years from his wife Sue Goulee for her countless volunteer hours.  Needless to say, we will miss Jim and all he has done for the Park People, our Friends Groups and members served. 

 Jim has positively impacted many during his tenure with the Park People.  We take this opportunity to share a few best wishes:

Jim Goulee has spent his entire career working for Milwaukee County Parks. He encouraged citizen participation, advocated for our parks, sought funding sources to help enhance our parks and has worked side by side, in harmony, with many friends groups, including Lake Park Friends. We are hoping that, in his retirement, he will lend his time and talents to becoming a dedicated Lake Park Friends volunteer : )  (that is if some other group doesn't snatch him up first!)

-See you in the park, Ann Wollmer, Administrator, Lake Park Friends

Jim you have persistently moved The Park People to a better place, and always with a friendly sense of humor.  TPP owes you big time.  Good luck on your retirement!

— John Machulak

Jim was instrumental in getting our group together by dedicating his nights and weekends to getting us off the ground. But knowing Jim, I'm sure our story is not unique. Instead we're one example of the lasting impact his work will have across Milwaukee County.

 – Dave Celata, Friends of Center Street Park

Jim’s passion for parks has left an indelible mark and I’m thankful to have served on a Board of Directors with such a dedicated Executive Director.

- Sue Spoerk

Jim is the reason we were able to start FRIENDS OF PULASKI PARK-Cudahy.  He didn't hesitate when called for advice, helped us to form the group and to become a member of Park People.  His enthusiasm, guidance and encouragement was just what we needed to become a successful friends group.  Enjoy retirement for many years to come Jim!

- Barb Kaprelian 

One of the first times I met Jim was when we started our friends group:  Friends of Pulaski Park - Cudahy.  Jim showed us the ropes and led us on the right path; such a gentleman and professional leader; a natural at a time in our county history where our parks need great men; that's Jim!

- Adam Nowaczynski

Congratulations on making it and reaching that time when you can do whatever you want, whenever you want!  Jim, I wish you much joy in the next chapter of your life.

 – Kate Ciurlik, President, Park People

Please note:

The new Executive Director of the Park People has been hired.  An announcement about the new Executive Director will be made in mid-June.  From June 1 to June 15, please send all inquiries to: .

Upcoming Park People Events

Oak Leaf Discovery Tour


The seventh annual Oak Leaf Discovery Tour will be starting on June 3rd and runs through October 4th, culminating in a season ending party at the Landing of Hoyt Park where the prizes will be drawn and beers poured.  This unique summer-long event, is designed to encourage family exploration, healthy recreation, and greater awareness of what our Milwaukee County Park System has to offer.  The Oak Leaf Discovery Tour is based on a participant Passport that is offered free this year and serves as your key to discovery, adventure, and wellness.  It is also a good reason to get up, get out, and get active.

The tour will be a little different this year in that the passports will be free downloadable PDFs that you can fold into a booklet.  The passports will be available on the Park People website, the Parks Department website and OLDT sponsor websites starting May 31st. 

Run for the Parks

RftP logo new smRun for the Parks 2017 will be held at Humboldt Park on the evening of Tuesday July 25th at 6:30pm.  We are again partnering with the Bay View Neighborhood Association and their "Chill on the Hill" concert series.  This 5k fun run and 2k family walk starts in front of the band shell stage with a thousand people cheering you on.  The course weaves through the park over hill and dale and ends where you started, in front of the stage.  Participants can then access the runners VIP area where they can refuel with complimetary food and beverage.  A beer and wine tasting is also offered in the VIP area where participants can watch the Chill concert.  Information and Registration for the run will be available on our website starting June 3rd, but if you can't wait you can sign up now by clicking here.

We welcome two new Board Members

 - Adam Nowaczynski

Adam Nowaczynski is an HR Consultant for Mindlance and works in IL at Abbott Laboratories. He has served on the board of the Friends of Pulaski Park Cudahy in the position of Vice Chair for the last 2.5 years. Adam holds a bachelors degree from Cardinal Stritch University, an HR Certificate, as well as a double masters in Management and Business Administration also from Cardinal Stritch University. Adam is active in the city of Milwaukee as a Volunteer with Visit Milwauke, Milwaukee's tourism and conventions bureau, and has been a Volunteer Shift Captain with that organization for the last 12 years. Adam has also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Milwaukee for 7 years, and also has had experience leading an employee giving campaign as Co-Chair for the Milwaukee United Performing Arts Fund for one of his former employers. Adam lives with his partner Tim in Cudahy, WI. Adam's favorite parks (he has more than one) are the Mitchell Park Domes, Grant Park, and Whitnall Park. Adam enjoys the outdoors and the beauty and haunts nature supplies in each of these unique parks.


- Ken Solis

Actually, Ken is a former board member who recently re-joined the board.  Ken spent nearly ten years on the Park People board as the chair of the environmental committee.  As chair, Ken created and directed one of the signature programs of the Park People, Weed-Out!.  We welcome Ken back as he again takes charge of the Weed-Out! program.

The following is an excerpt from "Parks are our Passion", a 25 year anecdotal history of the Park People written in 2003 by then Executive Director, Nancy Cavanaugh



"Weed Out!  Weed Out got its start in 1995 when The Park People President Margarete Harvey met dedicated amateur naturalist Dr. Ken Solis, who had surveyed 25 area parks to publish an educational brochure about invasive plants and trees. Ken asked The Park People to help him convince the County Parks Department that aggressive non-native, invasive plants and trees were rapidly overrunning and degrading natural areas in our parks.  In October 1995, Ken became the Chair of our newly-created Environmental Committee and immediately created our Weed Out program. The Park People established an agreement with AFSCME Local 882 to allow our volunteer “Weed Out Warriors” to take the maintenance of high-quality natural areas in the parks into their own hands."

Speaking of Weed-Out...

The spring Weed-Out! sessions will end this weekend (May 27) but to provide an incentive for you to go out and pull the dastardly plant, the following is a recipe for Garlic Mustard Pesto.  We're told it is delicious!Garlic Mustard pict

Combine Garlic Mustard leaves, garlic and walnuts in food processor and chop. Or divide recipe in half and use a blender. With motor running, add olive oil slowly. Shut off motor. Add cheeses, salt & pepper. Process briefly to combine.

Serve warm over pasta or spread on crackers as a appetizer. It also makes a great topping for baked fish.

Enjoy....and get rid of that Garlic Mustard!

Chris Kegel Will Be Missed

chriskegelChris Kegel, long time bicycling enthusiast, ardent park and trail supporter and owner of Wheel and Sprocket passed on earlier this year.  Chris leaves a legacy of support for numerous nonprofit organizations.  Wheel and Sprocket trucks and technicians were present during any and all bicycling fundraisers to provide free on-course repairs for participants.  Chris also made sure that many nonprofit organizations, including the Park People, were given space at the annual Wheel and Sprocket Bike Expo at the State Fair grounds where they could solicit participants for upcoming fundraisers or just raise awareness for their group or cause.

He was a brilliant businessman, but even more he was a kind, unassuming and generous man who truly believed that his mission was to provide greater access to cycling both locally and state wide.

In his memory, the Chris Kegel Foundation is being created with a threefold mission: to make bicycing better, to bring riders together, and to continue to develop cycling advocates. Please consider a donation or participate in the second of what will be an annual fundraiser, the Chris Kegel Slow Roll with proceeds going to the Foundation.

More information here 

Featured Friends Group - Friends of Wedgewood Park

NNO '15

Kudos to Friends of Wedgewood Park! This Friends Group started in 2015 and is led by Matt Rostermundt along with help from Mary Schecher, Fred Schecher, Mark Borkowski and Mike Wesolowski.   They have monthly meetings and have been busy with many projects and activities that enhance Wedgewood Park.  Recent initiatives include an Easter Egg Hunt and Spring Park Clean Up.  The group is also fundraising for a pool canopy.   They even brought back ice-skating to Wedgewood Park however, Mother Nature had other ideas instead, which cancelled their President’s Day weekend skating party.


Dave Kinnamon Bestowed Director Emeritus Status


Congratulations to David Kinnamon who was bestowed the honor of  Director Emeritus in recognition of outstanding services rendered to The Park People.  Dave served on the board for 30 years from 1978 to 2007.   Dave spent 20 years as the Treasurer and was instrumental in setting up the legal aspects of the Park People, sharing his talents as a partner from Quarles & Brady specializing in tax-exempt organizations.   Dave joins an elite group of previously recognized Directors Emeritus including Roger L. Boerner, Robert Cowan and Joy G. Teschner.

Project Updates from the Parks Department Natural Areas Staff

Spring of 2017 is upon us which means that the Milwaukee County Parks Citizen-based Wetland Monitoring Program is in full gear! Over 50 volunteers signed up to participate in this collaborative research program for 2017. Volunteers are given equipment and trained to monitor local wetlands for rare and sensitive wildlife populations, such as amphibians and secretive marsh birds like Virginia rails. This award-winning program was initiated in 2015, and has since trained over 60 volunteers that I have in return donated over 1600+ hours towards monitoring wetlands in the Park System’s natural areas (2017 totals not included). So far in 2017 exciting finds include tiger salamanders, blue-spotted salamanders, boreal chorus frogs, northern leopard frogs, fairy shrimp, and sora rails!Julia_Robson

·         Natural Areas field staff have been hard at work controlling a high priority invasive species called Lesser Celandine (an NR-40 prohibited species by WDNR). This aggressively invasive member of the buttercup family is only found in a few natural areas throughout the Park System, therefore rapid response and control is necessary in order to prevent further spread throughout the county. Lesser celandine can easily be confused with desirable native species such as marsh marigold, so careful identification must be made prior to any removal (

·         In May the Natural Areas Program, with sponsorship from the Fund for Lake Michigan, will begin the installation of a 0.7 acre rain garden at Greenfield Park along the lagoon. The rain garden will greatly enhance native pollinator and wildlife habitat at Greenfield Park as well as improve the water quality conditions of the lagoon. Excessive erosion and deposition of fecal matter by large numbers of geese at the park in the turf grass areas has severely degraded the shoreline along some parts of the lagoon. This rain garden will vastly improve those conditions as well.

·         It is the third and final year of the Parks Department’s $635,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded project “Engaging Urban Youth in Invasive Species Control”. Since 2014 the Parks Department collaborated with the Great Lakes Civilian Conservation Corps, Student Conservation Association, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute to complete invasive species monitoring, control, and outreach throughout Milwaukee County. Additionally, the project engaged middle school to college aged students through the Alliance for the Great Lake’s “Great Lakes in My World” curriculum and service learning activities.

·         The Natural Areas wildlife staff are working to wrap up the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern Baseline Wildlife Population Assessment project. This project is conducted in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station, WDNR, and EPA. The data collected through this effort will be used to guide future habitat restoration projects that will hopefully assist in leading to the eventual “delisting” of the Milwaukee Estuary AOC.

Julia Robson, Assistant Natural Areas Coordinator

Amazon Smile - Your purchases will benefit the Park People

Amazon Smile logoAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support The Park People every time you shop, at no cost to you.  When you shop at, 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchase supports The Park People.  Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations.  You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.  You can use the same account on and AmazonSmile.  On your first visit to AmazonSmile (, you need to select Park People of Milwaukee County, Inc  (note, please do not confuse with The Park People which is Denver) to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.  Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation to The Park People and yes, you can change your charity at any time.

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