Milwaukee County Parks Department: Begins replacing Humboldt Park trees

MILWAUKEE (April 23, 2021) — There is more than the normal spring growth happening in Humboldt Park this year. Milwaukee County Parks forestry crews have been busy planting trees in the 73-acre park, much to the delight of Bay View residents and park visitors.

Beginning in early April, crews began planting River birch, Elm, Maple, Ironwood, Basswood, Chestnut, and London Planetrees around the lagoon in the center of the park, near the Lily pond near E. Oklahoma Avenue, and on the hillside along S. Logan Avenue.

While birch, elm, and maple trees are native to Wisconsin, the London Planetree is derived from the Sycamore and is preferred as a shade tree for urban areas and for climates like ours. Its bark also is similar to the sycamore.

“We were expecting a dozen trees would be planted this spring, but the county upped that to 22,” said Mike Bubolz, president of Humboldt Park Friends (HPF), a nonprofit volunteer group working to improve the park. “There will be another 20 to 25 hardwoods planted this autumn, with more scheduled for next year.”

In the past five years, nearly 200 mature trees were removed from the popular park because of disease, infestation, or weather damage. Beginning in the summer of 2019, HPF launched its 100 for Humboldt campaign to fund tree replacements. The group is close to meeting its fundraising goal to plant 100 hardwood trees. 

“The County Parks Department appreciates the outpouring of support the Bay View community is showing for Humboldt Park,” said Bubolz. “Families, friends, and neighbors seized the opportunity to remember their loved ones by purchasing a tree or contributing part of the cost for trees. Our park truly is a living legacy of our community.”

A full list of tree donors can be found at Donations for a full, half, quarter, eighth or other portion of a tree can be made on the HPF website. Photos of the trees, wildlife, and scenery of the park are posted nearly daily on the group’s Facebook page (

According to Bubolz, nearly 3,000 trees have been removed from Milwaukee County Parks within in the last ten years because of infection, infestation, and weather conditions. Healthy trees mean:

  • 100 trees remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of other air pollutants per year.
  • 100 mature trees absorb about 139,000 gallons of rainwater per year.
  • Evergreens that block winter winds can save 3 percent on heating.
  • Each large front yard tree adds to a home’s sale price.
  • Tree-filled neighborhoods lower levels of domestic violence and are safer and more sociable.
  • Consumers shop more frequently and longer in tree-lined commercial areas and are willing to spend more.

About Humboldt Park

Originally named South Park, Humboldt Park was one of six parks created when the City of Milwaukee established a Parks Commission in 1890. The original 45-acre park opened in 1891 and a picturesque lagoon and adjoining creek were excavated two years later.  In 1900, the park was renamed Humboldt Park in honor of Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, a Prussian geographer and naturalist who did extensive work on botanical geography. Humboldt Park continues to be a center point of the Bay View neighborhood providing a wealth of events and accessible nature within an urban park setting. The park is known as a favorite destination for family-friendly celebrations, concerts, tennis and baseball, and its own beer garden.

About Humboldt Park Friends

Humboldt Park Friends is a non-profit organization through its membership with the Park People of Milwaukee, serving as a liaison between the Milwaukee County Parks Department and the community. Established in 1997 by Ruth Simos, Humboldt Park Friends operates under the Park People and is governed through its own elected board. Learn more at