Current Issues

 Milwaukee County agrees to sell O'Donnell Park to the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Thank you MAM for keeping this land public!


The Park System's financial troubles: their share of the county tax levy fell from 31% to 9.9% between 1980 and 2000, and park staffs were cut by two-thirds. And the downward trend has continued. Economies have included fee increases, pool closings, elimination of lifeguards, no more stocking of fish in lagoons.

Alarmed by the number of building projects once planned for Milwaukee's lakefront, POP spearheaded opposition and succeeded in quashing several of them.  The projects lacked coordination and there was myopia about the paving, parking, car congestion and visual mishmash they'd produce -- not to mention loss of green space and lake views.

The County Board has approved a basic plan for commercial development of the Downtown Transit Center site next to O’Donnell Park, revision of the I-794 ramps nearby and easier access from Wisconsin Ave. to the Lakefront.

The site for a proposed veterans’ museum between the Milwaukee Art Museum/War Memorial Center building and the Vietnam War Memorial has been shifted to the VA Grounds near Miller Park. We opposed the Disneyesque design for the museum, billed as America’s Freedom Center, because it would interfere with more lake views and with the sightlines for the north face of the Saarinen-designed Memorial Center. We applaud the decision to move the project to the VA grounds.

As larger, taller apartments are built along the stretch of Prospect Avenue overlooking the downtown harbor, POP has become concerned about how these large bluff-top buildings will affect the green corridor of our lakefront below. POP members met to discuss our concerns with Robert Greenstreet, City director of planning and design.

Juneau Park Friends and the East Town Association have combined forces to propose a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) to raise money for improvements in Juneau and Cathedral Square Parks.

Mixed uses develop at County Grounds Some years ago, the County decreed that the northeast section of the County Grounds in Wauwatosa – some 270 acres north of Watertown Plank Rd. -– declared surplus and informally designated "parkland" instead should be mixed-use acreage. Delineated uses, according to the County Economic and Community Development staff, include a state forestry education center and demonstration area, two huge flood-control basins, a 65-acre economic development tract, 50 acres for recreational uses and 17 acres for expansion of the freeway interchange on the west side of the property.

Bedraggled Johnsons Park is scheduled to get a full facelift in the next couple of years as part of a Green Infrastructure Initiative in the Fond du Lac and North Ave. area. POP is part of the coalition behind the revival.

Have you visited Bender Park, a spectacular site in Oak Creek in Milwaukee County's far southeastern corner?