MKE Parks

MKE Parks MKEparks is a City of Milwaukee, Department of Public Works, neighborhood park system.
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MKE Parks, a City of Milwaukee neighborhood park system, provides outdoor play opportunities in over 60 locations across the City of Milwaukee. MKE Parks are funded through the City of Milwaukee and private donations. In collaboration with neighborhood partners, we empower residents to re-create public spaces that reflect local needs, interests, and identity. In doing so, previously underutilized parks are transformed into enriching play environments which provide positive physical, social and economic impact to the areas they serve. All kids deserve quality play opportunities and we work to ensure that is the case in Milwaukee.

Mission: 1. To provide residents with safely walkable community spaces that reflect their recreational needs, interests, identity. 2. To improve community health by encouraging physical activity, interaction with nature, and positive social interaction. 3. To transform underutilized public spaces into high-quality neighborhood parks with unique opportunities for physical activity and play.

Operating as usual

08/27/2020
The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land

The majority of the nation’s schoolyards are empty expanses of asphalt, baking under the hot sun—creating their own “heat islands.” Vibrant, green, cool community schoolyards should be the national standard—both to provide options for outdoor learning during the pandemic, and community resiliency during the climate crisis. Learn more about the value of outdoor space at schools, and new data on heat, in our report: https://bit.ly/31sORi9

08/25/2020

We are a 2020 #AARPCommunityChallenge grantee! We are very excited to get started on our “quick action” project funded by https://www.facebook.com/AARPLivableCommunities and AARP Wisconsin that will involve the installation of an intergenerational community gathering space at Gardner Park! aarp.org/CommunityChallenge

Join local community members and leaders for a conversation about the long history of community struggles around housing...
08/03/2020
A COMMUNITY / UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP AROUND EMANCIPATORY STORYTELLING AND TRANSFORMATIVE ACTIONS

Join local community members and leaders for a conversation about the long history of community struggles around housing and food justice in Milwaukee neighborhoods! Taking Back Our Worlds: Conversations During Times of Social Distancing is a project that explores the historical and contemporary conditions of social and environmental injustice in the city of Milwaukee. More details here: https://mkeejlab.weebly.com/

Social isolation and health concerns due to COVID 19 have negatively impacted networks around caring and human relationships – the core strength of our communities. In order to respond to this...

07/27/2020
National Recreation and Park Association

National Recreation and Park Association

"The reality is this: until Black people feel safe, welcome and included in a space, we cannot truthfully call it public."

We're thankful to KABOOM! and Sianna for sharing this blog post with us.

Parks Aren’t Public Unless Black Kids Belong: http://ow.ly/8lKO30r10Zj

National Recreation and Park Association
07/22/2020

National Recreation and Park Association

Today the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Great American Outdoors Act, which would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provide critical funding to expand access to outdoor recreation in communities across the country. We need your help in getting this important legislation across the finish line. Take action here: https://p2a.co/lsYR84d #FundLWCF

Happy #NRPAParkandRecDay to Milwaukee's city and county parks staff! Here's to continued investment and hard work as we ...
07/17/2020

Happy #NRPAParkandRecDay to Milwaukee's city and county parks staff! Here's to continued investment and hard work as we strive to make our amazing parks even better!

Happy Park and Recreation Professionals Day! This is a day to honor all the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide the high-quality programs and infrastructure we desire and expect in our parks and public spaces. #WeAreParksAndRec #NRPAParkandRecDay

Learn more: https://www.nrpa.org/events/july/park-and-recreation-professionals-day/

One of our top priorities is to ensure that parks continue to be a priority in Milwaukee and to transform the city’s mos...
07/06/2020

One of our top priorities is to ensure that parks continue to be a priority in Milwaukee and to transform the city’s most underutilized parks into enriching play environments. By the end of 2021 we are hoping to reconstruct 8 new parks!
#WeAreParksAndRec

An enormous thank you to Whit Washington for organizing the Uptown Crossing Neighborhood Cleanup that occurred at Marcus...
06/29/2020

An enormous thank you to Whit Washington for organizing the Uptown Crossing Neighborhood Cleanup that occurred at Marcus DeBack Park this past Saturday! The cleanup was a grand success and even attracted some local news coverage! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG4arZxysWg&feature=youtu.be

Public space a 'lifeline' for post-lockdown cities
06/26/2020
Public space a 'lifeline' for post-lockdown cities

Public space a 'lifeline' for post-lockdown cities

As urban areas start to reopen, some are looking at their sidewalks, squares, parking lots and even streets as a hidden asset in boosting their economies

Mayor Tom Barrett
06/24/2020

Mayor Tom Barrett

Starting June 24, DPW Milwaukee will begin constructing the City of Milwaukee’s first bicycle boulevards— residential streets where the safety and comfort of people bicycling, walking and playing are prioritized. Construction will include pavement markings, signs and traffic calming treatments to slow motor vehicle speeds and reduce non-local motor vehicle traffic.

The project is located along N. Fratney St. from E. Meinecke Ave. to E. Keefe Ave. and along E. Wright St. from N. Palmer St. to the Oak Leaf Trail.

For more information, visit milwaukee.gov/FratneyWright.

DPW Milwaukee
06/22/2020

DPW Milwaukee

We’re improving a Brady Street parking lot with a focus on green infrastructure! The project will reduce the amount of storm water going into the sewer while naturally filtering water as it flows through the paver system (example pics).
➡️ Milwaukee.gov/bradyGIlot

Celebrate Juneteenth Day! · MPL
06/19/2020
Celebrate Juneteenth Day! · MPL

Celebrate Juneteenth Day! · MPL

Milwaukee's Juneteenth Day celebration, which began in 1971, is one of the longest-running in the U.S.

A good read on the important role parks continue to play, particularly in times of crisis.
06/12/2020
Amid Protest and Pandemic, Urban Parks Show Their Worth

A good read on the important role parks continue to play, particularly in times of crisis.

U.S. cities are now seeing the critical role that public space plays during a crisis. But severe budget cuts are looming. Can investing in parks be part of the urban recovery?

06/10/2020

Our playgrounds have reopened, but they will not be sanitized so use them at your own risk. Please remember to practice social distancing and consider wearing a face covering while enjoying our parks. Stay healthy and safe out there!

06/08/2020
FOX6 News Milwaukee

Art in the park with a purpose.

On Sunday, art could be found outside the Milwaukee Art Museum -- with hundreds sharing emotion with chalk as part of the MKE Unite Chalk the Sidewalk event. http://via.fox6now.com/vZj3p

Amid Protest and Pandemic, Urban Parks Show Their Worth
06/05/2020
Amid Protest and Pandemic, Urban Parks Show Their Worth

Amid Protest and Pandemic, Urban Parks Show Their Worth

U.S. cities are now seeing the critical role that public space plays during a crisis. But severe budget cuts are looming. Can investing in parks be part of the urban recovery?

Some uplifting news from the National Recreation and Park Association magazine about how the Los Angeles Department of R...
06/01/2020
Homelessness and the Global Pandemic | Feature | Parks & Recreation magazine | NRPA

Some uplifting news from the National Recreation and Park Association magazine about how the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks has supported people experiencing homelessness in these trying times. https://www.nrpa.org/parks-recreation-magazine/2020/june/homelessness-and-the-global-pandemic/

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks closed parks spaces, housed people experiencing homelessness and prepared open parkland for mobile emergency operations.

Want to start composting or collecting rain water? Now's your chance!
05/15/2020
Compost Bin & Rain Barrel Sale

Want to start composting or collecting rain water? Now's your chance!

The City of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works is excited to sponsor the 9th Annual compost bin and rain barrel sale.  Prices are 50% off retail and quantities are limited. All items must be pre-ordered by May 22nd, 2020. Items MUST be picked up on June 13th. Pick up details below. 

Address

200 E Wells St
Milwaukee, WI
53202

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(414) 286-8532

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The MKE Parks and MKE Plays Stories

MKE Parks, a City of Milwaukee neighborhood park system, provides outdoor play opportunities in over 60 locations across the City of Milwaukee. MKE Parks are funded through the City of Milwaukee and private donations. In collaboration with neighborhood partners, we empower residents to re-create public spaces that reflect local needs, interests, and identity. In doing so, previously underutilized parks are transformed into enriching play environments which provide positive physical, social and economic impact to the areas they serve. All kids deserve quality play opportunities and we work to ensure that is the case in Milwaukee. The MKE Plays Initiative: Play is an important component of the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual well-being of all people. Parks provide urban residents with opportunities for play. However, without adequate funding for the maintenance of these spaces, and a lack of resident engagement in their design, parks become deteriorated and underutilized.

By 2015, this had become the norm for many Milwaukee parks. They were no longer serving to enhance the quality of life for residents, but rather were burdening them with the violence, substance abuse, and vandalism they attracted.

In response to this growing problem, Milwaukee 10th District Alderman Michael Murphy created the MKE Plays initiative to re-establish parks as a priority for local government and transform the city’s most underutilized parks into enriching play environments. With the help of engaged residents and partner organizations, MKE Plays reconstructed 13 parks over 3 years.

The City of Milwaukee now looks to build on this success and implement the MKE Plays model at 26 parks over the next 6 years, putting the city back on track to sustainable management by 2025. With the continued leadership of Alderman Murphy, we seek to accomplish this vision by:


  • Matching private contributions with public funds

  • Involving local residents in the design and construction process

  • Encouraging the use of innovative park and play features

  • Activating reconstructed spaces through collaborative programming

  • Assessing the impacts of program activities on the lives of residents

  • Gathering park-level data to support efficient and equitable facility management
  • Restoring these parks brings much-needed improvement - both structural and intrinsic - to many of the city’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. By creating fun, safe, and attractive places for communities to play, we encourage physical activity, engaged citizenship, and local investment. Involving area residents in the rehabilitation of park space offers further benefits by providing opportunities for people to build relationships and strengthen ownership in their community. This social capital is as much an asset as the necessary financial capital, and is likely to overflow into additional community action. Given their potential, the systematic improvement of Milwaukee parks cannot be underestimated.

    The MKE Plays framework represents a new paradigm in the improvement and management of Milwaukee parks. By adopting it as part of the Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, the City of Milwaukee has renewed its commitment to providing park services as part of a larger approach to enhance the quality of living for Milwaukee residents. We now look to secure similar commitment from our private-sector partners, with a goal of raising $8 million over the next 6 years, from 2019-2025.


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