It’s Our Turn to Fund Public Parks
Money for Bucks, Brewers, Foxconn? How about saving our public parks?
After taxpayers paid to build Miller Park for the Milwaukee Brewers, after taxpayers paid to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, and after taxpayers have subsidized the Foxconn project, Milwaukee County taxpayers must demand that it is time to use tax money to revitalize and maintain our free public parks.
It is our turn, our turn to direct public funding to our Milwaukee County parks. Preserve Our Parks (POP) is mounting an “Our Turn” petition drive in advance of the 2019 county budget to ward off the reintroduction of parking meters or other pay-to-play ploys as an excuse to defund our public parks.
Our parks are in crisis, and it is time to address the issues that have led to their continuing decline. Consider, for example, the Oak Leaf Trail, the 118-mile pathway that runs throughout Milwaukee County’s parks and parkways. This heavily used public trail is one of the greatest assets in our county. It is free to use and open to the public. Yet the trail is rapidly deteriorating, and so are the parks that surround it as our public funds are diverted for other purposes such as the financial interests of private franchisees.
The parks are vital to the health and quality of life of our community. They are the lungs of our county providing green space, and our parks also act as a sponge for our healthy waterways to prevent flooding and preserve clean water. Parks offer a respite from the concrete and steel of dense city life and are the welcome green space for workers.
Our ancestors built this wonderful legacy of public parks during the years of the Great Depression. POP refuses to hear that there is no money to support our public parks when state and local governments divert money to build assets for private franchises. Losing gems such as Mitchell Park Domes, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Lake Park, Boerner Botanical Gardens, our South Shore emerald necklace of parks along the lakefront or any of the other park is unthinkable. Yet government leaders are failing to commit sufficient resources to protecting this heart and soul of our county.
Citizens must demand dedicated public financing for our public parks. POP will host public meetings to amplify the public’s voice in demanding proper, sustainable funding for our parks. Let your voice be heard at these meetings. It is our turn.