Welcome to Preserve Our Parks

Preserve Our Parks, a nonprofit watchdog group, battles to keep Milwaukee area parks open and green, resists incursions for non-park uses, and fights for funds to properly maintain one of the County’s greatest treasures, its parks system.

POP was founded in 1999 by a group of Milwaukeeans concerned about the future of our public parks, green spaces and the lakefront. Over the years, we had seen our parks nibbled by sales, leases and easements. We'd seen public policies on parks grow lenient. We'd seen our parks invaded by non-park, non-public purposes.

Find out more about Preserve Our Parks!


As you are probably aware, the 2018 Milwaukee County Park System adopted budget includes $1.7 million to be derived from new parking fees to be incorporated in a number of parks and parkways.   
What can be done about this?  Is it too late to reverse this situation?  Honestly, we don't know. 
All we can do at this point is fight it as well as we can.  To do this effectively we need your support.  Please pass this notice on to your friends, neighbors and anyone else you think will take action.
We ask that you contact your County Board Supervisor and the County Executive's office to voice your opposition.  The following link will take you to the County Board web page where their contact information is available:  http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyBoard?docid=7708
To contact Chris Abele click here:  http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyExecutive
In addition, there are two upcoming meetings scheduled where citizens will have the opportunity to offer their comments on the subject:
1. County Board Parks Energy and Environment meeting scheduled for 9am on Tuesday January 23rd at the Milwaukee County Courthouse room 201
2. A public input meeting on Tuesday February 6th at 6pm at the Mitchell Park Domes Annex, 524 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee


Park Funding

Our Milwaukee County Parks Department has been subjected to a steep erosion in budget dollars for well over 25 years.  For example, the Parks budget in 1988 was $39,041.219.  Moving forward twenty nine years to 2017 the Parks budget is $39,568,0031.  This increase of just over a half million dollars pales in comparison to the cost of living during this time span.  The cost of living has doubled from 1988 to present day.  If the Park budget had grown at the rate of inflation the Parks budget today would be just under $80,000,000.

It is obvious that this situation has to be remedied or our Parks will continue to suffer.  Milwaukee County is undergoing a serious financial situation caused significantly by unsupported State mandates, loss of State shared revenue, pension obligations and other legacy costs.  Furthermore, the State has tied the hands of local governments in addressing their needs by limiting tax increases.  The result of these limitations is that our quality of life in Milwaukee County is at a critical crossroad.

Our Parks deserve a stable, sustainable and dedicated funding source in order to provide the legacy of Parks we have come to know and appreciate. Future generations are counting on us to fix this problem. Preserve Our Parks commissioned a study of how other major urban areas in the United States are funding their parks though innovative ways.  We could learn from their initiatives. 

Follow this link to the story.