Oak Leaf Trail improvements: Milwaukee County Parks wins $453K grant

Oak Leaf Trail, Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County Parks has won a $453,954 grant for trail improvements from the National Park Service.

The grant will help fund the construction of a new separated, off-road path for the Oak Leaf Trail’s Kinnickinnic Line -- approximately one mile, from 16th Street to 27th Street. As well as the trail construction, the project will include tree plantings, rain gardens, and the renovation of outdoor recreation facilities.

Jessica Wineberg, Trails Coordinator for Milwaukee County Parks, issued this statement:

"The Kinnickinnic line is a vital trail connection on the southside, but it needs some love, as much of it is currently on-road. This grant will help to greatly improve safety and access for trail users on the southside, better serve the Latinx community of Milwaukee and provide a great recreational area for families."

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In a report called ‘Reconnecting Milwaukee: A Bikeable Study of Opportunity Equity and Connectivity’ by the national non-profit Rails to Trails, the Kinnickinnic line of the Oak Leaf Trail was identified as a key route for improving trail access inequities in Milwaukee. In the north-central and south-central regions of the city, only three percent of residents are currently within walking distance of a multi-purpose trail.

A news release says pending full approvals and reviews, the design of the new trail is expected to begin in 2022 -- and construction could begin as early as 2023.  

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