Milwaukee Recreation is continuing work to remodel and rebuild its recreation playfields throughout the city of Milwaukee.
The department held a combined groundbreaking event last weekend at Clovernook Playfield, 6594 N. Landers Street to celebrate the start of construction at Clovernook and Franklin Square playfields. MPS leaders and community stakeholders shared renderings of the new and improved playfields that are scheduled to open next summer.
This summer, Milwaukee Recreation reopened Columbia and Custer playfields. The remodeled sites now feature new basketball courts, walking paths, play structures, and more. Click here to learn more about the department’s efforts to transform its playfields.
“Now that we’ve reopened our first two playfields, we are seeing the true impact of our efforts to provide equitable recreation opportunities for everyone in our city,” says Lynn A. Greb, Milwaukee Recreation’s senior director. “After seeing the overwhelmingly positive response to our new playfields this summer, we are even more excited to break ground at Clovernook and Franklin Square.”
A child plays with new equipment at the recently renovated Columbia Playfield.
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.
The video below recaps the work done at Custer Playfield.