South Milwaukee residents push to restore lagoon pond in Grant Park

NOW: South Milwaukee residents push to restore lagoon pond in Grant Park

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A group of South Milwaukee residents is fighting to have a city landmark cleaned up that they say has fallen into disrepair.

Former alderwoman Mary Nelson is leading the charge to restore the lagoon pond in the city’s Grant Park.

In a letter she read publicly at Tuesday’s city council meeting, she describes the overgrowth, animal droppings, and general mess at the lagoon.

Nelson and other longtime South Milwaukee residents remember the lagoon as a jewel of the city.

Marlene Kalb said it used to be like a Norman Rockwell painting.

“They had boats that used to take a little ride around the island in the summertime,” she said. “People would go down there and take their wedding pictures by the dam. It was pristine. It was beautiful.”

Now, Kalb says it’s a dump.

“The lagoon, which has given our people so much visual and active enjoyment for so many years, is now an embarrassment,” Nelson said at the meeting.

The land belongs to the county though, so residents’ pleas to the city council are to put pressure on county supervisors to go in and fix things up.

Supervisor Steven Shea attended the meeting Tuesday.

He said he received more complaints about the lagoon than anything else, and agrees it’s in a sad state.

“I want to clean up all of our parks,” Shea said. “It’s not for lack of interest; it’s a lack of money.”

The 6th annual Restore the Lagoon Festival will be held Saturday, August 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Market Square at 11th and Milwaukee Ave.

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