The Botanical Gardens, a highlight of Milwaukee County’s nationally-recognized Park system, are a product of Depression-era labor. Charles Whitnall, a long-time member of the County Park Commission, pushed for the acquisition of park land in the 1920s. He envisioned such space as an escape from urban life. The gardens were built in the park named for Whitnall and designed by landscape architect Alfred Boerner. Once the New Deal was launched, the Commission quickly put its long-term plans for park development into action and secured federal relief funds. Workers in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration constructed the five original gardens. Two years after Boerner’s death in 1955, the county board renamed the Gardens in his honor.
- ^ Harry H. Anderson, “Recreation, Entertainment, and Open Space: Park Traditions in Milwaukee County,” in Trading Post to Metropolis: Milwaukee County’s First 150 Years, ed. Ralph M. Aderman (Milwaukee: Milwaukee County Historical Society, 1987), 255-323.
- ^ Mary Alice Koehne, “A Spring of Flowers—Gardens Make Lots of Scents,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 26, 2002, p. 8.
- ^ Harry H. Anderson, “Recreation, Entertainment, and Open Space.”
- ^ Meg Jones, “They Planted Forests, Legacies of Depression-Era Workers Meet Young Counterparts,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 21, 2008, p. 1.
- ^ “Boerner, Wife of Park Official,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 4, 1995, p. 6.
For Further Reading
Anderson, Harry H. “Recreation, Entertainment, and Open Space: Park Traditions in Milwaukee County.” In Trading Post to Metropolis: Milwaukee County’s First 150 Years, edited by Ralph M. Aderman, 255-323. Milwaukee: Milwaukee County Historical Society, 1987.
Albano, Laurie Mench. Milwaukee County Parks. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2007.