Updated: Apr 11
In this issue:
Is a Farmers Market role in your future?
Conversation Circles are coming back.
Recycle your holiday tree at Mulchfest!
Check out the 2023 EPNA Calendar of Events.
Neighbors keep "shopping" for our virtual food drive.
You could be a winner in our holiday decoration contest!
The story behind the banner on the park's racket sports fence
Bonus content: The heartwarming history of Enderis Park
You can help bring the Farmers Market back. Before the Covid shutdown, the Enderis Park Farmers Market had grown steadily bigger and better with the addition of live music, yoga, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, and partnerships with local agencies. Along with our summer concerts, the Sunday morning market ranked as one of EPNA’s most popular activities. Then came the pandemic.
After a three-year hiatus, we are determined to bring back a farmer’s market the neighborhood can be proud of in 2023. To make it happen, we’ll need a small but mighty group of volunteers to plan, organize and operate the weekly event, which runs throughout the summer. We’ve already begun laying the groundwork under the leadership of EPNA Board Member Linda Tanner and President Pat Yahle. Keeping in mind the adage “Many hands make light work,” our first priority is volunteer recruitment.
Whether it’s signing up vendors, booking entertainment, enlisting or managing volunteers, posting on social media, staffing the information booth on market days or just setting up and taking down equipment on a few Sundays next summer…wherever your talent and interest lie, whatever your available time, the market can use your help.
Members of the market committee meet periodically from January through May. Job benefits include meeting more of your neighbors, making new friends, engaging in a fun project, and gaining the satisfaction that comes from community-building.
Are you looking for ways to give back to your community? Do you enjoy being part of a successful team? Do you know a high school or college student interested in gaining valuable experiences in nutrition, public health, leadership or community organizing? Do you want to help rebuild this great neighborhood asset for years to come? If you answered yes to any of these questions, email EnderisParkFarmersMarket@gmail.com to learn more!
'Conversation Circles' will return in January. Now that the indoor season is upon us, EPNA is again offering you an opportunity to chat for an hour or so via Zoom with some neighbors you probably haven’t met. There will be no committee formed, no tasks assigned, and probably no follow-up afterward. Our new “Conversation Circles,” piloted last year, have one simple purpose: to provide another way for EPNA members to meet, respectfully share perspectives on a given topic, and leave feeling a little more connected to this great neighborhood. Our first Circle was held early this year. Feedback from the six participants, who had not previously met, was very positive. Among the comments:
“If we could engage in structured conversation more often, the hard things to talk about wouldn’t feel so hard,” said Sarah Murray. Added Dave Hoose, “The structured conversation made talking easy, even if we were talking to strangers. It was quite comfortable.”
In January, we will hold two Conversation Circles, both via Zoom so folks can participate from the comfort of home regardless of the weather or the COVID situation. (Apologies to interested members who are not Zoom users. Perhaps you could team up with a neighbor who is?) We’re thinking of keeping one topic on the lighter side – “In this month for resolutions, what if anything have you resolved to do differently in 2023?” – and making one somewhat heavier: “Given the divisions that have arisen in our society, what do you see as our best hope for becoming more united?” To set the stage for each conversation, a few pages of pre-reading will be provided along with the link to the Zoom call.
If you are interested in participating, please email Anne Curley at email@example.com to indicate your preferred topic, time of day and (if you have a preference) day of the week. No need for a firm commitment at this point. Anne will get back to those who respond with more information.
Mulchfest: the perfect way to recycle your holiday tree! 9 to 11:45 am Saturday, January 7
Mulchfest may not be the most enticing name we’ve ever come up wit
h for an EPNA event but, then again, it’s good for a smile. More important, it’s good for the
environment! By participating, you can turn your holiday tree into mulch that the city will use on our beautiful boulevards and parks throughout Milwaukee. It’s one more way that Enderis Park gives back!
To recycle your tree, bring it to the parking lot on the northeast side of the park between 9 and 11:45 on Saturday, January 7. City workers will be on hand to mulch the tree right before your eyes, weather permitting. Each car with a tree delivery on the 7th will receive a small goody bag as a thank you.
If you can’t make the event, bring your tree any time between New Year’s Day and January 7 and place it on the northeast side of the parking lot driveway so as not to block the park entrance, driveway or snowplowing.
If you find other trees in the neighborhood on the curb, feel free to bring them along. But please note: This event cannot handle large-quantity tree disposal from area businesses. If snow conditions on January 7 require city trucks to be out clearing the streets, we will cancel the event and notify you asap to leave your tree by the curb in front of your home or in the alley behind it for later pick-up.
A special acknowledgement to the City of Milwaukee Forestry Department for their hard work and especially for their support for this community project!
Our virtual food drive continues. Thanks to all who have contributed so far to the annual “Enderis Park Gives Thanks” virtual food drive. As of late November, 26 neighbors had done $3,212 worth of virtual “shopping” for local families who need help putting food on the table. The drive will continue through December, but please consider scanning the QR code below now to join in the giving if you can. All contributions, no matter how small, make a difference.
Get ready for the holiday decorating contest!
You're invited to participate in the annual EPNA Holiday Decorating Contest. Our distinguished panel of judges will be doing their thing on the evening of Wednesday, December 21. They’ll be looking for the most excellent displays of creativity, effort, and love of the season. The four prizes include a “Winner” yard sign and mention on Facebook, Nextdoor and in an EPNA e-blast. (Please note that the last two years’ winners are ineligible.)
SAVE THE DATE: EPNA 2023 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Mulchfest – Saturday January 7 Volunteer Recognition Celebration – Wednesday February 22 Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday April 1 Spring Clean-Up – Saturday April 22 Bloom & Groom Plant Sale – Saturday May 13 Neighborhood Rummage Sale – Saturday June 17 EPNA Farmers Market – Dates To Be Determined Concerts on the Green – June 22, July 13, July 27, and August 17 4th of July Celebration – Tuesday July 4 Harvest Fest – Saturday October 7 EPNA Neighborhood Nighttime Halloween Trick-or-Treat and Decorating Contest – Friday October 27 Enderis Park Gives Back-(online giving campaign) - November/December Holiday Decorating Contest – Judging on December 21
Please note these winter reminders.
Night parking: Park on the even address side on even dates and the odd numbered address side on the odd dates so plows can remove snow. Night parking starts at 11 PM.
Alleys: Snow must be removed from around trash containers for access by sanitation workers. When shoveling in the alley, DO NOT push the snow into the alley and do not assume the plow will come through -- this just makes it harder for everyone else to get through.
Christmas trees: Take your tree to Mulchfest on or before January 7 (see related article), weather permitting, or dispose by placing where your garbage is picked up.
Please, shovel your sidewalk – it’s the law: Remember, residential and commercial property owners and occupants are required to clear sidewalks abutting their property of snow or ice within 24 hours of a storm. If violations are reported, a 24-hour notice is issued. If the sidewalks still are not cleared, a sanitation crew will clear a path and add the charge to the property tax bill. To report an unshoveled sidewalk, call 414-286-2489. Make our city safer by shoveling out the fire hydrants near your home. “Adopting” a fire hydrant will ensure maximum visibility for firefighters in the event of an emergency. If you have older or disabled neighbors, please help them if you can.
New group tests support for adding bocce ball, corn hole courts
Are you curious about the sign headlined “Friends of the Enderis Park Playfield” that’s been hung on the tennis/pickleball courts fencing? Here’s the scoop: A band of neighbors are hoping to repurpose the long-vacant walled space north of the courts. If the group succeeds in their quest, it will be transformed into bocce ball courts and a corn hole (bean bag toss) area.
But first, they need to get a better feel for how many folks in the surrounding area would actually use those amenities. If you’d like to weigh in on this idea and haven’t already done so, you can use the “Provide feedback” QR code on the banner to take the survey or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to the survey.
Friends of Enderis Park Playfield is not affiliated with EPNA. But given its direct link to the park, we are happy to call attention to the survey.
Get your 'Proud EPNA Member' sign here!
EPNA is on a roll! As of November 1, member households were up by an amazing 33% – to 266, from 199 a year earlier. Members make EPNA’s activities – all 14 of them – possible. So our future is looking extra bright.
If you’ve joined or renewed for the current season, please consider displaying an 8.5 by 11-inch “Proud EPNA Member 2022-23” sign. An EPNA sign in your window is a way to show your support for your neighborhood association and encourage others to join. To request a sign, email email@example.com and we’ll email one right over for you to print out.
If you’re not yet a member or if your membership has lapsed, you can go to https://www.enderispark.org/support-us to pay the $25 membership fee online or to download a membership form to pay by mail.
A short history of the Enderis Park neighborhood
by Ann Dee Allen
As a year-end treat, we offer these historical highlights about our beloved home base. They could be a good conversation starter for holiday gatherings.
In the 19th century, our area was rural. The small community of Smithville, named for local farmer Erastus Smith, centered on the intersection of Lisbon Avenue and Burleigh Street. The majority of residents were German-speaking and Catholic.
By 1927, Milwaukee’s western edge had been extended to 92nd Street, and the city included what is now our neighborhood. Residential developers had begun a building boom that would continue into the early 1950s.
The new homes were affordable for middle-class, public- and private-sector workers. They were constructed in a variety of handsome architectural styles and included an abundance of sturdy brick and stone work, as well as distinctive interior woodwork and built-in amenities.
The area that would become our neighborhood is bounded by Lisbon Avenue on the north, 63rd Street on the east, Center Street on the south and 76th Street on the west. The street design, attractive homes and shade trees helped establish its calm and welcoming atmosphere.
Our beautiful park and heart of the neighborhood is named for Dorothy Enderis (left), who was a Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) teacher and administrator from 1920 to 1948 and a longtime advocate of public recreation. The property is owned and managed by MPS and the City of Milwaukee.
The city purchased the land for the park in 1931. It was gradually developed over time, becoming the neighborhood’s hub by World War II. Its most distinctive permanent feature, the stone pergola and walkway, were constructed by Works Progress Administration workers as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal in response to the Great Depression.
The Dorothy C. Enderis Playground was dedicated to great fanfare in 1950, with an orchestra, chorus and folk dancing. Sadly, Enderis suffered a fatal heart attack the following year.
Over its lifetime, Enderis Park has included Enderis Playfield, a playground, soccer field, tennis courts, volleyball courts, basketball hoops, wading pool and even an ice rink. The park’s field house once served as a warming house for neighbors using the rink.
Donna and Jim Bieser have had a good view of the park during the 62 years they have owned their home on 70th Street. The couple’s six children grew up there. Daughter Kathryn and son-in-law Bob Alcorta have lived across the street for many years.
“When we moved here, the park primarily had the building and garage,” Donna said. “There was a jungle gym, and then a swingset, and animals on springs for the kids to ride.”
The pair have fond memories of traditions that carry on to this day, recalling all the local children decorating their bikes and dressing up for the Fourth of July parades. They handed out free ice cream at the annual event.
“We have loved every minute of it,” Donna said. “We raised our children here — and so did the park. It was a godsend.”
“The convenience of living here is absolutely fabulous,” she added. “And you’re in the center of the city so you’re close to everything else, too.”
In 2004, the Enderis Park Neighborhood Association (EPNA) was established in to help revive the park and neighborhood events, which had not had the full community attention they deserved in recent years. The association was led by tireless neighborhood advocate and leader Bruce Cameron. For a time, an Enderis East Neighborhood Association represented the easternmost part of the area.
Together with local residents and donors, EPNA helped raise $26,000, and the city added another $200,000 for park improvements. The funds enabled the commissioning of the colorful Magic Grove by sculptor Nancy Metz White. The Magic Grove was installed in May 2007. The renovations led to a Mayor’s Urban Design Award.
The park has been the center of countless annual EPNA events over the years, including the Spring Cleanup, Easter Egg Hunt, Bloom and Groom plant sale, Rummage Sale, Concerts on the Green, Fourth of July festivities, Halloween trick or treating, Harvest Fest, Mulch Fest, Enderis Park Gives Back online food drive, Holiday Decorating Contest and other activities.
The year 2018 was a banner one for the park, as a new state-of-the-art playground received another Mayor’s Design Award, the 50th Concert on the Green was celebrated, the first Farmer’s Market was held, and a Little Free Library was installed. The playground was again expanded and updated with new equipment.
EPNA also led the efforts to install the stone Enderis Park neighborhood entrance monuments flanking 68th Street at Center Street, and to create neighborhood street sign banners and posters.
As historian John Gurda writes about Enderis Park in his book “Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods”:
“There is a shared awareness that the best way to ensure an engaging neighborhood is to be engaged neighbors.”
You can help our neighborhood continue to thrive by belonging to the Enderis Park Neighborhood Association and volunteering to help one or more of its activities. Visit enderispark.org to learn more.
The Enderis Park Neighborhood Association promotes neighborhood stability and a rewarding quality of life for all by working with neighbors to support and maintain an attractive, diverse, respectful and safe community.
Our mailing address is:
firstname.lastname@example.org or EPNA | PO Box 100284 | Milwaukee, WI 53210