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Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced a series of nine countywide public workshops, including one took Sept. 27 in Sheridan Park in Cudahy, as part of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture’s “Parks with Purpose” planning campaign.

Information gathered at all the workshops between Sept. 13 and Oct. 5 will support the two major park planning efforts underway simultaneously: the 10-Year Parks System Master Plan and the 2050 Park & Open Space Plan.

The 10-Year Parks Master Plan will provide recommendations for facilities, programs and services, maintenance and operation, and administration and management of the county park system. The 2050 Park & Open Space Plan will address long-range considerations, including the preservation of environmental corridors, conservation lands, the recreational use of water bodies, and make recommendations on the distribution of parks and recreational facilities throughout the County.

“I believe in the value of parks to promote a strong sense of community and encourage learning and stewardship about our natural spaces, which is why we’ve worked hard over the past five years to invest in things like capital improvements, technology, and accreditation,” County Executive Chris Abele said.  “Our parks are successful because our neighbors and community stakeholders participate in these planning processes. When the County renovated Moody Park we didn’t come in with a preconceived idea of what was needed – we asked the community what they wanted to see, and the end result is something even better than anyone could have originally hoped for.”

At the foundation of the “Parks with Purpose” campaign, which will inform the county’s efforts to ensure that that parks system remains a vital and vibrant public asset for future generations, is a robust and inclusive input process that engages the community, county officials say.

Residents were encouraged to attend any of these public workshops. Locally, the county held a workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Sheridan Park, 4800 S. Lake Drive.

Public workshops were also held Sept. 13 at the Kosciuszko Park Community Center, 2201 S. 7th St.; Sept. 14 at the Lake Park Marcia Coles Community Room, 3133 E. Newberry Blvd.; Sept. 15 at the Wilson Park Pavilion, 1601 W. Howard Ave.; Sept. 20 at the Brown Deer Park Golf Clubhouse, 7625 N. Range Line Road; and Sept. 21, Gordon Park Pavilion, 2828 N. Humboldt Blvd.; Sept. 22, Dineen Park Pavilion, 6601 W. Vienna St.; Sept. 27, Sheridan Park Pavilion, 4800 S. Lake Drive;

Two more workshops are planned: Oct. 4, McCarty Park Pavilion, 2567 S. 79 St.; and Oct. 5, Center Street Park Community Room, 6420 W. Clarke St. All forums will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a brief general presentation followed by a facilitated workshop.

“This is the community’s opportunity to have a direct impact in prioritizing future park land use, facility development, and the long-term sustainability of Milwaukee County Parks,” said Parks Director John Dargle Jr.

Earlier this month, a survey was sent to a representative sampling of 4,000 households.  National recreation survey expert ETC Institute developed the survey, distributed it throughout the county based on population and density, and is administering the process. The household survey closed in mid-September.

After the close of the statistically valid survey, a second, online iteration of the survey will be available.

For more information, visit countyparks.com and select “Parks with Purpose.”

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