Jeramey Jannene

Downtown Dog Park Fundraiser Launched

Crowdfunding campaign offers perks for you and your dog.

By - Aug 18th, 2021 04:48 pm
Downtown dog park. Rendering by GRAEF.

Downtown dog park. Rendering by GRAEF.

The campaign to build a downtown dog park is now appealing directly to all the dog moms and dads for support.

A public fundraising campaign is underway to fund the park, which would be built on a vacant lot under Interstate 794.

Two business improvement districts are leading the project, Milwaukee Downtown and the Historic Third Ward. The park would be built on state-owned land at 103 W. Clybourn St. overlooking the Milwaukee River. Plans call for a 12,000-square-foot dog run with separated small and large dog areas and irrigated, synthetic turf.

It would be the first public dog park located in Downtown. The nearest dog parks are approximately three miles away, either to the north in Riverwest or south in Bay View.

A variety of donation levels are available, from Benji ($10) to Beethoven ($2,500). Some funding levels include perks ranging from a t-shirt to an engraved plaque at the future park.

The Downtown Neighbors Association (DNS) made the first contribution to the crowdfunding campaign.

“Bringing downtown its first dog park has been a priority for the Downtown Neighbors Association since the organization’s creation,” said Claude Krawczyk, chair of DNA’s Quality of Life Committee, in a statement. “We are proud to be an early supporter and advocate. We call on all of downtown’s residents and stakeholders to join us in support of this important project.”

Organizers aim to raise $750,000 to bring the dog park to fruition. The city is contributing $200,000 in incremental property tax revenue from an adjacent tax incremental financing district to pay for a new Milwaukee RiverWalk segment that will border the park. Additional sponsors are also being sought.

GRAEF, whose offices are a few blocks to the north in The Avenue, designed a conceptual layout for the park.

A series of other under-the-freeway projects are underway or were recently completed. To the west, on the site of the former tent city, a green infrastructure project is being installed. Across the river to the east, a pickleball court was completed earlier this year and the Brighten the Passage project added light and art to a series of concrete pillars.

“The dog park is gaining momentum and is the next project in a series of successful activations under I-794,” said Paul Schwartz, executive director of the Third Ward BID. His organization also led the pickleball court (Riverwalk Commons) development. “As downtown Milwaukee’s residential population continues to grow and more workplaces and hotels become pet friendly, our goal is to enhance the quality of life for all who live, work and visit here.”

There is a second pathway to support the park.

“In addition to supporting the dog park monetarily, advocates can help advance the project by casting their vote at the Bark for Your Park website,” said Milwaukee Downtown economic development director Matt Dorner. The park is one of 30 finalists for PetSafe’s Bark for Your Park contest. The five proposals receiving the most online votes will receive $25,000 each while five runner-ups will receive $5,000 each. Individuals can vote once a day through August 31.

You can donate to the park at MKEDogPark.com.

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One thought on “Downtown Dog Park Fundraiser Launched”

  1. Mingus says:

    I think using the land under the freeways is a great idea. I had always thought that the land under I-43 south of the National could be developed into a mountain biking park featuring many technical challenges.

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