In the fall of 2015, a local resident was interested in how neighbors could become involved to improve Cathedral Square. As a result Milwaukee County Park and the local alderman hosted a meeting to explain how parks throughout the system have developed “friends” groups. Upon the close of the meeting the Parks department requested contact information on people who would be involved to carry this effort farther. The Milwaukee County Parks representatives got in touch with those interested in starting up this group.
We are an all-volunteer group, meeting monthly and working between meetings on furthering the efforts of this initiative. We became a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2017. In the past months, other interested individuals have become a part of this initiative.
We are looking for interested people to join in our efforts. Your unique skills could potentially be of service to our mission. We are looking for people who can help in a number of areas, including creating a logo and refining the visual image of our organization.
Friends groups, such as ours, are intended to augment the efforts of the owner, Milwaukee County, and local neighborhood organizations that often play an important role in public spaces.
Milwaukee County Parks is the owner and custodian of the park. They physically maintain the square, with lawn care, tree planting, landscape maintenance, winter maintenance, provides lighting, and all the necessary elements to allow the space to function well as a public square.
Milwaukee County Parks lease out the square to East Town and others groups for events.
Other local organizations also are involved with improving downtown.
East Town Association’s mission is to use its events and programs to cultivate a vibrant community experience, enhancing the neighborhood image and appeal and preserving and celebrating our rich heritage. They runs events such as Bastille Days, Jazz in Park, East Town Farmer’s Market, Yoga in the Park, and other seasonal offerings.
Milwaukee Downtown, the local business improvement district, has a mission to lead and inspire believers in Milwaukee to engage in efforts that build Downtown as the thriving, sustainable, innovative, and vibrant heart of the community. They are responsible for Downtown Ambassadors, Clean Sweep efforts, seasonal lighting displays, Downtown Dining Week and other offerings.
The Downtown Neighborhood Associations (DNA), involves residents and businesses in the East Town, Westown and Historic Third Ward, with a vision to be the voice of downtown residents in order to create synergy and harmony among neighbors to make downtown a better place to live, work and play for all.