Love Your Parks campaign announced in Milwaukee County, along with a new beer
MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A new Love Your Parks campaign launched Friday, July 3 providing new ways for the community to help the parks they love through volunteering, donating, and sharing stories of why parks are essential to them. The campaign is geared to rally support around much-needed funding for parks in Milwaukee County.
“Parks and trails have proven themselves to be critical to life in Milwaukee County. They strengthen our community, create jobs, improve our health and provide benefits for every single resident,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said. “It’s essential we think boldly and find long-term solutions for funding parks, as they are vital to advancing the County’s vision that... By achieving racial equity, Milwaukee is the healthiest county in Wisconsin.”
According to a news release, Milwaukeeans have flocked to parks and trails during the COVID pandemic to get fresh air, exercise or relieve stress and anxiety; and while tee-sheets at golf courses are full and beer gardens are reopening, the park system is still facing a $10 million budget shortfall due to the loss of revenue from services including rentals, special event permits and visitor admissions.
“Taxpayers each contribute just thirty cents a year per park, so we rely on fees from services to make up the remainder of our budget,” says Guy Smith, Executive Director of Milwaukee County Parks. “This summer, the pandemic has forced us to close or delay opening of a lot of those revenue generating services. Drastic cuts to spending and seasonal staffing are having direct impacts on park maintenance.”
“We’ve heard from a lot of residents who are concerned about seeing longer grass, closed facilities and fewer trash pick-ups, and they’re asking how they can help. We’re launching the Love Your Parks campaign to provide options for anyone who wants to volunteer, donate or simply, give their parks some love.”
Volunteer options include small group projects; becoming a ‘park steward’ at a specific park to help clean up or becoming a ‘micro-volunteer’ - an anytime, anywhere effort to help with trash clean-up.
The Milwaukee Parks Foundation, formed last fall, is accepting donations for Parks from individuals or businesses, and a portion of the sales from four-packs of a new ParkLife beer, will also be donated to the Foundation. The honey lager, which features a limited-edition can design inspired by Grant Park, was created in collaboration with Sprecher Brewery and Beer Capital. The cans are available now in local stores, as well as parks beer gardens and golf courses.
Visitors to loveyourparksmke.com can also submit videos or stories about why parks are essential to them, get the facts about parks funding and staffing, and access a new Parks Explorer app, which includes interactive maps and information on all 158 parks in the Milwaukee County Park System. Details of the campaign, and sign up forms for volunteering, are available at www.loveyourparksmke.com.
Love Your Parks Campaign Fast Facts
- The Milwaukee Parks Foundation, launched last fall, is accepting donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.
- The Parks’ trail system laid end-to-end would stretch all the way to Green Bay!
- The land managed by Parks is the equivalent of 7,500 Lambeau Fields in size.
- At 15,000+ acres of land, Parks is the largest landowner in the county.
- The entire park system contains roughly the same amount of land as 50 Six Flag Great America’s – while a Six Flags season ticket can cost $140, an average of just $50 in property taxes per household goes to parks each year.
- Hundreds of small businesses, non-profits and community organizations rely on Milwaukee County Parks to operate!