In the Fall of 2015, a local resident was interested in how neighbors could become involved to improve Cathedral Square. As a result, the Milwaukee County Parks department and the local Alderman hosted a neighborhood 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 wanted to be involved to carry this effort further. The Parks department 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 joined our group.
We are looking for interested people to join in our efforts. Your unique skills could potentially be of service to our mission.
Friends groups, such as ours, are intended to augment the efforts of the owner, Milwaukee County Parks, 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, provide 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, Cathedral Square 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 Ambassadors, seasonal lighting displays, Downtown Dining Week and other programs.
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.