Graham Kilmer
MKE County

County Creating More Space in Parks

As parks usage spikes, officials closing some parkways to cars to create more space for recreation.

By - May 6th, 2020 04:50 pm
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Road closed in Humboldt Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Road closed in Humboldt Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Have you noticed that there are barriers blocking off the parkways in your local Milwaukee County parks?

The Milwaukee County Parks Department recently started putting up these barriers to stop traffic from using the parkways, thereby creating more public space in the parks. So far the department has closed off the parkways in Humboldt Park in Bay View and Grant Park in South Milwaukee, a spokesperson told Urban Milwaukee.

Visiting parks and parkland is one of the only ways to get out of your house for recreational activities that comply with the state’s Safer-At-Home order. Between cabin fever and beautiful weather, the parks have been inundated lately.

This past weekend county parks and trails were packed. After being cooped up in their houses all winter, and now with the Safer-At-Home order, beautiful weather and temperatures in the high 60s drew people out of their houses and into county parks.

The Milwaukee County Parks Department told Urban Milwaukee there will be an announcement in the coming days regarding these efforts across county parks.

Increasing public space in the parks means the county can accommodate more people while ensuring they can safely social distance.

In the beginning of April, the parks department put up signage, and in some cases yellow caution tape, at playgrounds in parks across the county to alert park goers that they were closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It wasn’t just playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields, futsal courts, picnic tables and fitness equipment have all been off limits, as Urban Milwaukee reported.

By the second week of April, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order temporarily closing some state parks. Most of those parks were reopened last week.

With the Safer-At-Home order still in effect, the parks are a refuge for everyone. But it is important to continue social distancing. County Parks Director Guy Smith has said that when you are in Milwaukee County Parks, “Social distancing, or more particularly physical distancing, is absolutely required. You must keep yourself six feet from another person.”

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