The newly renovated Johnsons Park, in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, is now officially open. The occasion was marked by a community celebration.

The $1 million park renovation was part of Milwaukee County’s Johnsons Park Initiative, which also included renovations to Alice’s Garden, completed in 2010 and the Brown Street Academy schoolyard, completed in 2012.

A private-public partnership that complements other redevelopment efforts underway in Lindsay Heights spearheaded the project. Milwaukee County, Center for Resilient Cities, the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, LISC-Milwaukee, and Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association are all partners in the revitalization project.

“Johnsons Park is the biggest park in the 110-block Lindsay Heights neighborhood and is critically important to the quality of life for residents,” said Marcia Caton Campbell, executive director of the Center for Resilient Cities. “The completion of the Johnsons Park renovation is a major milestone for the neighborhood made possible by the commitment and dedication of a wide-range of partners in our community.”

Johnsons Park renovations total almost $1.2 million in private funding and $878,000 in public investments.

Renovations include new pathways with LED fixtures that allow easy access to a new performance stage, sports practice fields for football, soccer and T-ball, a picnic shelter and restroom facilities constructed by Milwaukee County Parks, and a new bioswale (infiltration basin) that mitigates storm water runoff.

Ten local community groups came together to celebrate the park completion and dedicate the new performance stage: Alice’s Garden, Beckum Stapleton Little League, Brown Street Academy, Boys & Girls Clubs, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Fondy Food Center, Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association, Marketplace Bid 32, Neu-Life Community Resource Center, Running Rebels and Walnut Way Conservation Corp.

The ceremony was followed by entertainment provided by Milwaukee County Parks with A.W.E. Trucks (Artists Working in Education), as well as a concert in the park featuring “Tony TNT Washington and his Explosive Divas.”

Sharon McGowan

Originally published on the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service as Community celebrates official opening of newly renovated Johnsons Park

Sue Vliet