Tackling the Triple Threat to Parks

January 4, 2021

Your parks support you, and right now, they need some love. Milwaukee County Parks is tackling three crises at once: the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, and climate change - all while navigating the decline of the system’s fiscal model.

These crises have magnified social disparities and accelerated negative fiscal consequences - challenging the long-term viability of our parks. Despite  these challenges, parks spaces have become even more a of a necessity for our community. Over the past year, park use has skyrocketed. We have relied on them as one of the few accessible public space that support our individual & collective health. We need our parks more than ever.

And so, the Love Your Parks remains an ongoing campaign to build a path to support the equitable, long-term sustainability of the parks system through community education and action.

RACISM AS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

We know that historically government has played a role in creating and perpetuating racial disparities in our communities of color. Milwaukee County Parks is a part of the solution, committed to advancing the County’s vision that... By achieving racial equity, Milwaukee County will be the healthiest county in Wisconsin.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Parks has been hit hard by COVID-19 resulting in all-time staffing lows, county spending freezes, service reductions, and extreme revenue losses from the closure and delayed opening of the majority of our revenue-generating activities and facilities. The impacts have accelerated the issues created by years of budget cuts and deferred maintenance.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Make no mistake that our warming atmosphere is directly impacting the Midwest. Strong winter storms left millions of dollars of damage along our shoreline and record high water levels in Lake Michigan are accelerating bluff erosion, washing away beaches and parking lots, and eroding the footings of bridges along our waterways.

YOU CAN HELP!

We know you want to help and right now, these are the most impactful things you can do! Find out more by downloading the Parks App. Or visit: https://www.loveyourparksmke.com/.

VOLUNTEER

It doesn’t need to be fancy. On your next walk in the park, bring along a garbage bag and fill it up. Throw bag in trash. Repeat. Believe it or not, your help will go a long way!

DONATE

To the Milwaukee Parks Foundation. You didn’t know we have a foundation? We do! And they’re awesome.  Any amount is welcome, and every little bit helps no matter how big or small.

SHARE YOUR STORY

Why do you love Milwaukee County Parks? We want to know! We are collecting your stories about why parks matter to you... we’d like your statements, your videos, your testimonials. We’ll be compiling them to create our collective story of how we love our parks.

BE PATIENT

We don’t like seeing the grass get high, garage spilling over, or things falling apart any more than you do. In fact, it breaks our hearts. Let us know of issues you encounter in the parks, and please be patient as we do everything we can to make things better - as soon as we can! And let your friends know the scoop too.