Iowa crew spends two months working to revitalize Milwaukee parks

MILWAUKEE -- From sawing to lifting and moving, Rebecca Bigler and her AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) team has been working hard cleaning up Milwaukee's parks.

"You can see the lake now and people can just enjoy looking at the lake while they're walking by. It's a much more beautiful place for the community," Bigler said.

The River Revitalization Foundation and the Milwaukee County Parks System received a grant from AmeriCorps to assist with the conservation of river lands.

Bigler's group is based out of Iowa and they've spent two months working 40-hour weeks on this project.

"The work that they have completed in the last two months is more than we could have gotten done in the year with just our staff and volunteers," Conservation Specialist with the River Revitalization Foundation Theresa Morgan.

These AmeriCorps members have focused a lot of their attention on removing invasive species such as buckthorn and honeysuckle.

Invasive plants crowd out native plants, and native plants have deeper root systems, which is better for the soil and waterways.

"Having native plants versus invasive plants in a system stops the pollutants from entering the water system, which makes the river and the water bodies a little bit cleaner," Bigler said.

The group is also building and widening trails and creating natural fencing.

On Friday, November 2nd, the team plans to head back to Iowa.

AmeriCorps is a full-time national service program with more than 1,000 young adults serving nationwide each year.