Milwaukee Recreation Reopens Custer Playfield
Saturday, September 14 at 11:30 a.m.
Milwaukee Recreation will hold a ribbon-cutting event at Custer Playfield, 4001 W. Custer Avenue, on Saturday, September 14 to unveil the playfield’s newly-constructed basketball courts, play structures, and walking path. The celebration will begin at 11:30 a.m. when MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley will join district officials and community stakeholders for a short ceremony. This will be followed by a grand reopening party hosted by neighborhood residents from Chuck’s Block Watch, as well as playground activities, roller skating, and face painting from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Media representatives are invited to attend.
Last fall, Milwaukee Recreation began work to remodel and rebuild its recreation playfields by breaking ground at the first three sites to be transformed: Columbia, Custer, and Southgate. Columbia Playfield reopened in August. Custer is the second playfield to reopen.
Many of Milwaukee Recreation’s playfields were built in the 1920s and 1930s. The existing outdoor recreation system is comprised of 52 active use playfields encompassing more than 300 acres of programmed space. The majority of these sites serve as neighborhood scale parks with traditional recreational facilities such as ballfields, tot lots, tennis courts, fieldhouses, and general open space. In 2014, the department retained a consultant to conduct a review of its existing facilities and provide a roadmap for improvements to the playfields. The result was the Milwaukee Outdoor Recreation Facilities Master Plan. The plan rated 65 percent of the facilities as fair to poor, and identified more than $25 million in needed improvements over a 10-year span. The department then analyzed the neighborhood and population characteristics surrounding each playfield to create a priority list of projects that emphasized racial and economic equity.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to recreate and we now have an equitable way to prioritize the renovation projects and truly level the playing field in our city,” says Lynn A. Greb, Milwaukee Recreation’s senior director. “Our grand reopening of Custer Playfield will showcase the tremendous investment we’re making in our community.”
To learn more about Milwaukee Recreation’s efforts to transform its playfields, visit mkerec.net/masterplan.
Milwaukee Recreation is a department of Milwaukee Public Schools, established in 1911 to provide the entire community with affordable and enriching recreational activities. For more information, contact Brian Hoffer (Brian@MilwaukeeRecreation.net) at (414) 475-8938.
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