Spanning history, ecology and south side neighborhoods, the new green space in the Menomonee Valley will be named “Three Bridges Park,” its developers announced Thursday.
The name has a direct connection, playing off the new bridges that link the 24-acre park to the Hank Aaron State Trail and Mitchell Park. In a broader extension, Three Bridges captures the various elements of the valley and the decades-long effort to rebuild a deteriorated industrial corridor into a natural space for exercise and education.
Menomonee Valley From the Ground Up received 777 submissions in its call for suggestion for a name.
“This park offers a chance to create a space for people to come together in what was once widely though of as the dividing line in our community,” the group, Menomonee Valley Partners shared in submitting the name for official approval. “The significance of the name goes as far back as the native tribes and spans Father Groppi’s march across the valley and Hank Aaron’s accomplishments playing baseball in the valley’s west end.”
Three Bridges Park, a 24-acre green space rising above the south bank of the Menomonee River, will open July 20.
One of the bridges, the valley passage at S. 37th St., opened in 2010. Bridges extending from S. 33rd St. and Mitchell Park will open with the park in July.
In addition to announcing the name, project leaders shared Thursday that they have secured 90% of the $25 million to pay for the improvements, including a six-mile extension of the Hank Aaron State Trail. The Menomonee Valley Partners and the Urban Ecology Center will work to raise the last $2.5 million this summer.