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Milwaukee Co. Parks wins $453K national grant to improve Oak Leaf Trail

oak leaf trail
Posted at 7:31 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 20:31:22-04

MILWAUKEE COUNTY — The Milwaukee County Parks department won a $453,954 national grant to improve trails along the Kinnickinnic Line.

The money comes from the National Park Service's Outdoor Legacy Partnership Program grant. The trail line is one of 19 similar projects across the nation receiving funding.

The parks department said in a statement Friday that the grant money will be used to fund the construction of a new separated, off-road path for the Oak Leaf Trail’s Kinnickinnic Line. The path will stretch about one mile, from 16th to 27th streets.

The project will include tree plantings, rain gardens and renovation of outdoor recreation facilities, the county says.

Pending approvals, the design of the trail is expected to begin in 2022, and construction could begin as early as 2023.

Non-profit Rails to Trails identified the Kinnickinnic Line as a key route for improving trail access inequities in Milwaukee. Only 3 percent of residents are within walking distance of a multi-purpose trail, the county says.

“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.” Jessica Wineberg, Trails Coordinator for Milwaukee County Parks, said in a statement Friday.

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