Switchback for Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail
This universally accessible trail serves as a connection from the Oak Leaf Trail to the pedestrian trails along the Milwaukee River. Work began by surveying the proposed path elevations and carving out the rough path of the trail. Both Filtrexx and boulder retaining walls were constructed with minimal impact to the site. Planning, design, and construction work was performed in tandem with AmeriCorps crews, Milwaukee County Parks, and Urban Ecology Center Staff. The 500-foot long 4-foot wide trail weaves through a mesic woodland and floodplain forest.
The challenges of meeting grades, maintaining slope stability, and avoiding damage to trees and ground layer plants were met by utilizing compact equipment, state of the art methods, and highly skilled operators. Stabilization with the use of Filtrexx living walls and compost blankets allowed for bioengineering that favors the native plant community and suppresses weeds while minimizing synthetic geotextiles. Restoration work included several large ironwood trees, a range of woody understory plants, and a target sewn, high diversity, herbaceous ground layer seeding that spanned several slope aspects and plant community types.