SOUTH MILWAUKEE -- It's known as one of the most iconic trails in Milwaukee County's South Shore and was in dire need of repairs. On Friday, April 27th, Grant Park’s historic Seven Bridges Trail got the makeover it deserved, thanks Kohl’s Department Stores.
“These upgrades were desperately needed,” Guy Smith, Milwaukee County Park’s Chief of Operations said.
For two days, three dozen Kohl's employees volunteered their time to rebuild five of the trail's bridges. It's work that has been needed to be done for years. “15 to 20 years ago, we had the Wisconsin Conservation Corps do some renovations, but since then, we've definitely needed these bridges repaired or replaced. The fact that they're able to completely replace them is great,” Smith said.
The project is part of Kohl's Cares National Go Green Event. The company provided the labor and thousands of dollars worth of materials needed to complete the task.
“It almost brings tears to my eyes. It's just beautiful,” Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik, who was emotional when she saw the work being done Friday said. Jursik represents the South Shore district.
“The seven bridges were damaged in the 100 year floods that happened in 2009 to 2010, and we've been struggling to get the money,” Jursik said.
“This is something that's going to be here for future generations and I'm just touched,” Milwaukee County Parks Director Sue Black said. “The people who are going to use this for the next decades are going to know that Kohl's cared.”
The new upgrades will be available for hikers, bikers and nature enthusiasts to use starting Saturday, April 28th.
The Seven Bridges Trail has roots going back more than a century. In the early 1900s, the first paths were developed. In the 1930s, bridges were built to later become the foundation of the historic trail.