Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Third Ward Fundraising for Gas Light Park

Playground would be the first in the neighborhood.

By - Mar 12th, 2021 11:09 am
Gas Light Park. Image from Historic Third Ward Association.

Gas Light Park. Image from Historic Third Ward Association.

A new playground is coming to one of Milwaukee’s most urban neighborhoods.

The non-profit Historic Third Ward Association is seeking to raise $85,000 to fund the neighborhood’s first playground.

The playground would be located in a triangular lot at 111 N. Jefferson St. that is currently owned by an affiliate of We Energies.

To be known as Gas Light Park, the site is located at the intersection of E. Erie St. and N. Jefferson St. It is currently a grass lot.

The association reports raising nearly 50% of the necessary funds and securing an anonymous $10,000 matching grant to help get to the finish line.

“Being able to double our donations through this generous matching challenge grant will help us stay on schedule for a late spring installation,” said association executive director Jim Plaisted in a statement announcing the fundraising push.

“Creating a playground for our youngest residents is in line with the strategic plan approved by the Association in 2017,” said Jack R. Lemmon, association board president and head of Skylight Music Theatre.

A Born Learning Trail, a series of interactive, educational signs for adults and children, from the United Way will be installed.

The neighborhood has seen a steady stream of new housing developed in the past decade. A number of public amenities have also been added, including Trestle Park in 2018, but none cater explicitly to children.

The park name is a reference to the Milwaukee Gas Light Co., a We Energies predecessor which once had a large gas plant at the south end of the neighborhood.

Across the street from the proposed playground, a new event venue is proposed for the vacant lot at 100 N. Jefferson St.

Further east of Gas Light Park, and outside of the fabric of the neighborhood, Milwaukee World Festival Inc. is developing a new children’s playground with sponsor Northwestern Mutual on the festival grounds. It will be open to the public on non-event days.

A mile north, Milwaukee County Parks replaced the playground at Cathedral Square Park last year, revitalizing a place for children in East Town.

Milwaukee Recreation and Milwaukee Plays are systematically refreshing playfields and playgrounds across the city.

Donation information for Gas Light Park is available on the association’s fundraising page.

 111 N. Jefferson St.

4 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Third Ward Fundraising for Gas Light Park”

  1. B says:

    It is great to see a new park. Thanks for covering this!

  2. Andrew B says:

    The park is a great idea but they really need to get a better name. In earlier days that might have worked but in current cultural life the name is deeply tone-deaf.

  3. Duane says:

    I think if we named it “Gaslighting Park” Ron Johnson would be the man to fully fund it.

  4. Duane says:

    I think if we named it “Gaslighting Park” it would have no problem finding someone to fund it. (Perhaps a certain US Senator with very deep pockets and developing a Russian accent?)

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