Friends of Hillcrest-Upland Greenway

"I'm a friend of the greenway... 'cause if you kill the stream, where can I play? And what will happen to the mud... and to the animals--if it's all concrete?"

In these days of tight budgets and understaffed agencies, it helps for citizens to form groups. It gives legitimacy to their voice, and officials know who to consult and where to find volunteer help. Nowadays, nearly every park of any size across the country has a "Friends of XX Park." Recently a friends group formed for the greenway, and last week held an open house to meet neighbors and show the greenway.

Kathleen McElroy and neighbors helped start the group, and now Mary Norton is Acting Coordinator (233-3860). The group is gearing up for a public meeting on the greenway, with a date to be announced. They have a facebook page:

Issue that triggered the group
The City proposed to tear up the greenspace, cut into a stand of 300 old-growth trees, replace the sewer pipes, bury the stream in a pipe, level the area with fill, and top it all with a maintenance road. Neighbors have rallied against this threat to the wildlife, leafy ravine, and natural sounds of bird and stream. Deer, fox, possums, and 28 species of bird have been sighted in the area, including a red-tailed hawk that hunts here. While there are many values to the greenway, the rare urban stream is seen as the centerpiece. They say: "Our quality of life, tucked as we are into this quiet woods with it's intermittent water flow, will be immensely altered by this project."

What the friends group wants:
  • Retain the dense stand of trees
  • Stabilize & repair the sanitary sewer
  • Stop the erosion
  • Retain the open stream
  • Minimize construction damage to our property/easements
  • Retain privacy & safety along a now largely inaccessible pathway
  • No road through the greenway

How you can help

  • Write a letter, especially to Alder Chris Schmidt & Mayor Cieslewicz
  • Attend the public hearing--date to be announced
  • Spread the word
  • Make a "Save the Greenway" sign for your yard
  • Join the Facebook page and follow this blog
  • Install rain gardens and rain barrels in your yard
  • Pledge to help with future maintenance of the greenway

Dave Cieslewicz, Office of the Mayor, City of Madison, Madison, WI 53703, 266-4611, mayor@cityofmadison.com
Alderman Chris Schmidt, 4210 Odana Road, Madison, WI 53711, district11@cityofmadison.com

"I'm a friend of the greenway. Why? Since they buried Willow Creek, I have to drink stale beer at the Union. And every time I cross Park Street on my way there, my tail gets shorter!"

Photo Copyright 2009 by Ambience Photography

"I'm a friend of the greenway. I commute along the greenway--and if they bury the stream, I'll have to take the bus!"

Read more about the menace of hitchhiking animals!

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