Signs Call Attention to Parks Neglect, Threatened Shut-Down of Parks Facilities
This past weekend 10 volunteers for Preserve Our Parks placed nearly 300 “This Park For Sale” signs in numerous parks. POP did this as a “call to action” to the citizens of Milwaukee County. A recent report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) suggested that Milwaukee County’s financial troubles may ultimately necessitate closing park facilities or even whole parks due to their significant maintenance needs.
“It reasoned that Milwaukee County Parks are not mandated and thus would be considered in the first wave of County downsizing,” said Jim Goulee, President of Preserve Our Parks. “Essentially, our parks’ long-term maintenance needs have been neglected for over thirty years and that fact now provides the rationale to potentially diminish our once-storied park system. It has been estimated that our parks suffer from $300 million dollars in deferred maintenance.
“Ultimately, if Milwaukee County can’t fund our parks infrastructure needs, then we must start now to determine another way to provide our parks with a stable, secure and sustainable funding source,” Goulee said.
POP Board Member Pat Jursik said the signs were designed to call attention to the report’s suggestions of closing parks or parks facilities and to call for leadership by elected representatives.
“We felt that the outrageous suggestion in the WPF report that we may have to actually close parks should be met with decisive action, thus the ‘For Sale’ signs placed in parks. We want the public to understand what is at stake” said Jursik, Preserve Our Parks board member.
Preserve Our Parks is passionately devoted to the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of Milwaukee County’s beautiful emerald necklace. Founded in 1999, Preserve Our Parks is committed to attaining dedicated funding for parks to reverse the course of decline and neglect that has taken place over several decades. Preserve Our Parks actively seeks to make our parks preservation a high priority for County policy-makers, and it strongly opposes the sale or any conveyance that restricts the use and enjoyment of our free public parks. POP reminds our elected leaders that after all, many of our parks were built during the Great Depression and our grandparents found a way in a time of even greater fiscal demands.
Preserve Our Parks urges you to make your voice heard on this issue. Click here for guidelines and talking points for letter writing.