Saving Trees From the Ground Up

Proposal would allow higher tree heights on terraces currently limited by powerlines

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The Guyot house (right) has had this power pedestal outside their home since they undergrounded their power lateral in the late 1970s. MNA is considering a proposal to underground the primary power lines to maintain the high tree canopy which is threatened by MG&E’s tree planting policy.

The once-delayed major reconstruction or a four block stretch of Jenifer Street is moving forward again but residents are still working to blunt the impact of what may be stark changes to the look and function of the street.

The most recent initiative from neighbors is to advocate for the undergrounding of the primary power lines to help maintain the current tree canopy. The fabled canopy is under a dual threat from forced removal of trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer and any replacement trees being of a species that grows no higher than below the current power lines.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association Board (MNA) will vote this week via email to forward a recommendation to the City of Madison to include partial undergrounding of the primary power lines to help preserve the tree canopy. The initiative grew out of a series of meetings on the Jenifer reconstruction that have been held in the past months by MNA.

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Jenifer Reconstruction Prompts Second Public Meeting, More Questions

Jeni_ThumbA second public meeting is scheduled tomorrow (January 21) after the City of Madison officials faced numerous questions at a public meeting earlier this month regarding reconstruction of Jenifer Street which could dramatically remake a four block section of the historic thoroughfare.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) submitted to the City and District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel additional formal questions regarding the reconstruction and it’s scope, the extent of planned tree removals, bus stop changes and construction equipment use.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and will be attended by City representatives. The MNA questions can be seen below.

 

MNA Jenifer Reconstruction Questions

 Related: One-third of Jenifer Trees to be Replaced in Reconstruction Zone

Related: Dramatic Changes Coming to Jenifer Street

Dramatic Changes Coming to Jenifer Street

Project to narrow roadway, eliminate bus stops, but could damage historic homes

The 800 block (foreground) thru the 1100 block will be entirely rebuilt beginning this spring.

The 800 block (foreground) through the 1100 block of Jenifer Street will be entirely rebuilt beginning this spring. Jenifer’s notable tree canopy could be significantly degraded by the project as well.

The City of Madison hopes to begin a large reconstruction of several blocks of Jenifer and adjoining streets this spring that will impact both residents and transients that use the street daily during and after the project is completed.

The sweeping project will narrow Jenifer from Spaight to Few Street, install bump-outs to facilitate easier pedestrian crossings, move two Madison Metro bus stops and eliminate six others. Sections of Paterson Street and Brearly will also be rebuilt and portions of Few Street will be resurfaced.

While neighborhood leaders are encouraged by the traffic calming aspects of the project, there are concerns about the changes to the bus stops, the loss of tree canopy and for owners of historic homes, possible damage from construction vibrations.

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Orton Park May Be Seen In Softer, Cooler Light

Reworked electrical projects for the park up for a vote at MNA Thursday

The proposed boring route for a power line to upgrade electrical service to the Orton Park  gazebo. Courtesy: MG&E

The proposed boring route for a power line to upgrade electrical service to the Orton Park gazebo. Courtesy: MG&E

Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) has significantly reworked two electrical projects it proposed last winter to improve lighting as well as new electrical service to the gazebo in Orton park. Marquette Neighborhood Association President Michael Jacob said park neighbors had objected to the original proposal and because they were not consulted at the outset.

The first project will move the utility light pole 10 feet west (towards Ingersoll Street) and replace it with an LED light that according to the utility will “cast a cooler blue light, giving truer colors compared to the yellow light cast by a high pressure sodium fixture (HPS).” The light is the only illumination in the central portion of the park. 

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NWS Says Tornado Visited Marquette Neighborhood

Damage wrought by an EF1 twister, ‘hood seeks to repurpose downed Orton trees

This Orton Park oak, stricken by the recent tornado, may soon become a playground for neighborhood kids. Courtesy: Orton Park Natural Play Structure

This Orton Park oak, stricken by the recent tornado, may soon become a playground for neighborhood kids. Courtesy: Orton Park Natural Play Structure

It sounded like a tornado, the damage looked like a tornado and on Friday (June 20) the National Weather Service (NWS) in Milwaukee updated its assessment of the storms of June 16-17 adding the Marquette neighborhood to the list of areas touched by a tornado, rating it an EF1.

The storm impacted an area from B.B. Clarke Beach to Olbrich Park, with the heaviest along a narrow grouping of streets from the Monona lake shore to Wilson Street. The damage matched many descriptions of typical tornado damage where some structures were decimated while other objects only feet away incurred nary a scratch.

In Orton Park a few trees did not survive, including an old oak next to the middle path in the center of the park. But the tree may live on as a unique and rapid effort by neighbors has delayed removal of that tree, designating it for possible conversion into a “natural play structure” for children.

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Kids Find Easter Treasure in Orton Park

Over 40 children scour the park for candied delights during 17th annual hunt

Examining their loot after the bing, frantic hunt in Orton Park, April 20, 2014.

Examining their loot after the big, frantic hunt in Orton Park, April 20, 2014.

We could call this the first real day of spring when sunshine, temperatures, and firm soil all collaborated to provide great conditions for the 17th annual Marquette Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.

Over 40 children and their families gathered mid-morning Sunday (April 20) to share food and race across the park to find plastic eggs filled with all the things kids like in an egg, various forms of candy. Organized this year by Meghan Blake-Horst and Lynn Lee, the gathering harkened back to earlier neighborhood events that were smaller and more organic.

Annette Hansen, one of the egg hunt originators adds a little history event a few weeks after this post was published:

“The Spring egg hunt was started by Karen Lentfer and myself years ago when our children were small, as a celebration of Spring. The kids would design fliers and hand them out to families living near the park and they in turn would share the event with friends. Older kids help the younger children – some years in sunshine, others in rain or snow. It evolved to include a potluck brunch allowing neighbors to get re-acquainted after a long winter. In more recent years, as Karen and my children got older, Georgia Corner’s children helped with drawing and distributing fliers. Now more families with younger children are carrying on what has become an expected tradition.”

This summer’s festivals are still a can’t-miss, but today’s event was just nice, uncomplicated, unamplified, chaotic fun. See the gallery below for images of the hunt.

Marquette Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt 2014

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Participants are made to run in a circle to make sure they are properly warmed up for the hunt.
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A pre-hunt briefing was held with different age groups sent to different areas of the park.
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And they are off!
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A fair bounty secured by this young participant
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Adults were allowed to help as needed.
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This location served up a quandary for several boys. Many tried leaping, throwing twigs, but later was dislodged by an adult.
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Happiness is your friends and a basket full of plastic Easter eggs.
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This boy was fleet of foot...literally.
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The photographer kept a close eye on this egg, but rarely was an egg rescue attempted. However it was eyed often by kids as they passed by.
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Dad leads the way with his egg-tracking ears.
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One girl rests and reflects on her effort this morning.
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Unrestrained joy.
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Having found their eggs, these two girls had moved onto chatting about other things.
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Sorting their loot
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The tools of the trade. Razor, liquids, and the 21st century Easter basket, the bike helmet.
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Food always follows a successful hunt.
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Co-organizer Lynn Lee.

Gallery: Orton Park Fest – Sunday

Festival ends with smooth, heavy chords and sunshine

Wendell Holmes of The Holmes Brothers gets into a jam early during their Sunday afternoon set at the 47th Orton Park Festival, August 26, 2012.

The final day of the 47th Orton Park Festival began with light drizzle but ended with sunshine and dry ground, and the smooth, heavy chords of Anders Osborne. The rain never got above mildly annoying and eventually faded to local showers under specific trees when there was a gust of wind.

As the sun rose, so did the audience in front of the main stage. Food and drink vendors did a brisk business as the neighborhood gathered one last day to enjoy a late summer party which is a fundraiser for the Marquette Neighborhood Association. Proceeds raised through the auction, cake walk, along with food and drink sales supports Wil-Mar Center programs including after school programs, food pantry, health classes, and educational programs. Continue reading

Gallery: Orton Park Fest – Saturday

Photo by: Thomas Balistreri

Day three of the Orton Park Festival is underway and the park is filling up nicely. Kids games, vendors, bingo, artists, neighbors visiting, along with music on the stage are part of this warm and slightly muggy afternoon.

Madison legends Peter and Lou Berryman began the music lineup at noon and it was followed by other singer/songwriters like Tret Fure and Pieta Brown. The music will continue throughout the day with Canadian indie-rock band The Sadies taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. as the final act of the day.

Brand new Madison resident Thomas Balistreri spent his first Orton Park Festival volunteering at one of the beer stands, but took some time to pass along some photos from this afternoon.

Orton Park 2012 - Saturday

Images from Saturday August 25, 2012 during the 47th Orton Park Festival. All photos by: Thomas Balistreri

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A local artist interprets the scene during the Orton Park Festival, August 25, 2012.
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It true local festival fashion, attendees can sit for caricature sessions-airbrushed or black and white the Orton Park Festival, August 25, 2012.
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The audience begins to build for a jam-packed musical line-up. By the time The Sadies take the stage at 8:30 p.m. several thousand people will be in the park.
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A view from the center Orton Park toward the south east.
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The Orton Park gazebo which is along with the oak trees are the unique symbols of the park.
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Kids dance along to Pieta Brown Saturday afternoon during the Orton Park Festival, August 25, 2012.
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Vendors line the sidewalk that bisects the Orton park.
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Bingo under the big top; one of the ways the Marquette Neighborhood Association raises funds during the Orton Park Festival.
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All photos by: Thomas Balistreri

View the 2012 Orton Park Festival schedule here

Previous Orton Park Festival coverage:

Cycropia Dazzles Orton

Orton Park Ready to Celebrate

Mythical Tree Spirit to Fly at Orton Park Fest

Cycropia Dazzles Orton

International music night with Cycropia’s “Kodama” at 8:15 p.m.

Cycropia peforms “Kodama” on Family Night of the Orton Park Festival, August 23, 2012. Photo by: D.M. Hughes

Crycropia’s performance of “Kodama” was an absolute stunner with throngs of people  attending on Family Night at the Orton Park Festival. Tonight is International Night featuring Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars at 6 p.m., with a break between music sets at 7 p.m. for the MNA Auction, followed by the final festival peformance of Cycropia’s Kodama.

“I went last night. It was breathtaking, beautiful, thrilling-at times, jawdropping. As we used to say, back in the day, ‘It blew me away’, said Atwood resident Dan Melton after viewing Kodama.  “When I shut my eyes to sleep last night, I had pictures of the performance swirling in my head. Still do, this morning.”  Continue reading

Orton Park Ready to Celebrate

47th Orton Fest is here despite lingering noise and crowd concerns

In 1975 the festival was known as the MNA picnic. Rented from the City was a trailer that transformed into a stage. Courtesy: Richard and Judith Guyot

The Orton Park Festival (August 23-26) is just days away in this year of the perpetual summer. After Orton there is just one last neighborhood gathering to go, the Willy Street Fair. The Fair, The Fest, La Fete and Waterfront have been fantastic neighborhood celebrations; but may be a victim of their own successes as they have grown exponentially in popularity, and for some, threaten the beauty of the neighborhood they celebrate.

As a kid over three decades ago, the Orton Park Festival was the last event of the summer since it always seemed to fall on the Sunday before the first day of school. That would be Monday, the very next day. So it was a bittersweet time, filled with games, food, music, and my friends, but the first day of school always loomed.

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