Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Airport Park Gets New Playground

After years in limbo, Mitchell Airport Park's playground, one of the county's oldest, will be replaced.

By - May 14th, 2024 11:29 am

Renderings for new Mitchell Airport Park.

One of the oldest playgrounds in the Milwaukee County parks system will soon be getting an upgrade.

It’s been more than four years since the Milwaukee County Board funded a new playground at the park. The playground equipment has been ordered and will be constructed during the fall this year. The park sits on S. Logan Avenue, with the airport just to the south across E. Layton Avenue.

The board initially provided funding for the project in the 2020 annual county budget, when former supervisor Jason Haas represented the area on the county board.

“Then COVID happened,” said Paul Szwalkiewicz of the Friends of Mitchell Airport Park. “So everything stopped.”

Then, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) got involved, and stalled the project pending the agency’s review.

“It’s county land,” said Sup. Jack Eckblad, who represents the park on the county board. “but it’s within the FAA zone around the airport.”

This zone and the federal regulations that come with it are what shut down Runway Dog Park, which was the largest off-leash dog park in the county parks system.

The county eventually received a thumbs up from the FAA, in part because the new playground includes aviation-themed design elements. The playground equipment for small children has an airplane on top, and the larger equipment has a platform made to look like a control tower, Szwalkiewicz said.

Residents in the neighborhood have been advocating for new playground equipment for a long time, Eckblad said. “It was honestly one of the first meetings I took as a supervisor.”

The current playground equipment was installed in 1995. The new equipment will include ADA-accessible features, swings and two play structures: one for children two to five years old and another for children five to 12 years old. The project also includes new stormwater management infrastructure, as well as new bike racks, park benches and asphalt paving.

The friends group and neighbors are excited about the prospect of finally getting a new playground, Szwalkiewicz said. “We’ve waited a long time for this.”

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Categories: MKE County, Parks

2 thoughts on “MKE County: Airport Park Gets New Playground”

  1. Kevin Bereswill says:

    So if we put airplane stuff in it,can we have the dog park back?

  2. Passenger57 says:

    That’s nice and all, but where are the trees to shade the area? These things get HOT to touch in the summer. If not trees, then some sort of mesh screening to help shade them.

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