Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Campaign Will Fund South Side Futsal Courts

No neighborhood has more kids. LBWN raising final $25,000 to complete soccer project.

By - Aug 29th, 2019 05:34 pm
Burnham Park Futsal Courts. Rendering by Abacus Architects.

Burnham Park Futsal Courts. Rendering by Abacus Architects.

The non-profit Layton Boulevard West Neighbors is in the final throes of a $100,000 fundraising campaign to transform the tennis courts at Burnham Park into three futsal courts.

“Based on feedback from community meetings, we learned that soccer was the number one preferred sport in the neighborhood,” said LBWN director of outreach and engagement Jonatan Zuñiga. Futsal, an urban variant of soccer that is played on a hard surface instead of a large grass field, was identified as the ideal use for the tennis courts in part because the surface is similar and the courts are in a dilapidated state.

In partnership with neighborhood group Burnham Park Task Force, LBWN is seeking to raise the final $25,000 to complete the transformation and establish a fund for future maintenance. The existing tennis courts are located at the northwest corner of the park near S. 35th St. and W. Mitchell St.

“Many of the quality soccer spaces in Milwaukee are either closed to the general public, far away from the inner city or unaffordable,” said Zuñiga via email. “The Burnham Park Futsal Courts are important to the neighborhood and the city because they provide a public space that is safe, accessible and meets the recreational needs of the community.” The courts would be free to use.

LBWN, which works in the Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods, hopes to complete the project by the end of September. It launched a $25 sponsor a square campaign this week with an interactive, grided map of the future courts highlighting donors. It needs to raise an additional $10,000 to complete the project construction by the end of next month.

Approximately $75,000 has been raised already with contributions from the Zilber Family Foundation, Mike Mervis, city-affiliated Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC), Carmen High School of Science and Technology students, former Carmen head of schools Patricia Hoben, Summit Credit Union and the Melitta S. and Joan M. Pick Charitable Trust.

Abacus Architects is providing in-kind design support. Milwaukee Public Schools, which owns the park, is also providing in-kind support.

A fundraising pitch circulated by LBWN notes that the 53215 zip code in which the park is located has the highest number of children of any Wisconsin zip code. “Burnham Park is the only significant green space in a 165 block area and thus serves as the neighborhood park to 21,000 residents, including over 7,000 children living in the area,” reads the pitch.

Traditional soccer isn’t being forgotten. A turf field is planned as part of Milwaukee Recreation‘s 2020 Burnham Park revitalization plan, said Zuñiga.

At the time of publication, the square campaign had raised $675 from 10 donors.

Photos & Rendering

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