Sherman Park Could Get $2.2 Million Overhaul
Partnership of county and Boys & Girls Club would rehab park, add new amenities.
Milwaukee County’s Sherman Park could see a major investment in new amenities and upgrades in 2023.
A task force of Milwaukee County elected officials and government employees will consider a proposal to grant nearly $1 million in county funds to a project being led by The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee aimed at revitalizing Sherman Park, 3000 N. Sherman Blvd. This money would go toward a larger $2.2 million investment planned for the park called “The Re-Imagining Sherman Park Project”.
The project calls for more than a dozen unique projects that together are intended to “contribute towards re-energizing Sherman Park and improving quality of life for neighborhood residents,” according to a funding proposal from the Boys & Girls Clubs. The Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club is located in the park.
Milwaukee County Parks is a partner on the project and worked with the club for the past two years planning the project. The project ranges from major investments in the park’s aquatic facilities to smaller efforts — like relocating the garbage facilities — that improve the usability of the park. Initial cost estimates were developed by the engineering firm GRAEF which worked with the partners during the planning process.
Some of the projects in the park have already had funding allocated by the county through the 2023 county budget process. The Boys & Girls Clubs requested $1,685,995 in funding from the county’s allocation of federal stimulus funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Boys & Girls Clubs plans to contribute $500,000 toward the project.
The county is not considering funding that full request of nearly $1.7 million. The county’s ARPA Task Force will decide whether to allocate approximately $962,000 to the project this month. If it recommends the spending, it will next go to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors for final approval in April.
The Boys & Girls Clubs’ funding proposal lists two high-level objectives of the project. The first is to advance racial equity by improving the park’s amenities and increasing community engagement with the park. The organization noted that there are well-founded links between regular, active use of public green spaces like parks and improved health outcomes. The second goal is to ensure long-term, low-cost stormwater management for the park. Investments in plantings and permeable pavement are intended to reduce stormwater runoff, which, the organization said, “carries trash, bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants from urban landscapes.”
“As Sherman Park and the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club looks to the future, it has become clear that making physical changes to address the changing needs of the community is essential,” the Boys & Girls Clubs said. “From adding a new splashpad, to resurfacing the basketball courts to addressing drainage issues in the park, updating beloved amenities will breathe new life into Sherman Park, the Club, and the neighborhood at large.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs plans to have the whole project funded and construction finished by the end of 2023, according to the funding proposal. If the county does not provide the full requested match, it remains to be seen how the other money would be raised.
Investments planned in “The Re-Imagining Sherman Park Project” include:
- A new “monument-style sign” that can broadcast activities occurring in the park.
- Resurfacing the parking lot and pathways near the tennis and basketball courts.
- Installing a splash pad in the wading pool that hasn’t been operational for years.
- Move the dumpster facility away from its location “in the center of all park activities.”
- Remediate stormwater drainage trouble in the southwest corner of the park for what is used as an “informal playfield.”
- Resurfacing of short-term parking spots and pick-up area.
- Repairs to pathways and lighting throughout the park.
- Build a new covered picnic area.
- Develop an “Enhanced Concessions Area” with a renovated kitchen and new picnic tables, umbrellas, paving, lighting and signage.
- Improvements to the bathroom facilities outside of the clubhouse.
- Build a new “Community Bike Shop” in the garage near the renovated concession area.
- Tree plantings to absorb stormwater.
- A new park surveillance system.