The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors endorsed (17 – 1) a long-term lease with the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) for portions of Washington Park today that will bring significant investment and major upgrades to park facilities.
Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson worked closely with representatives from the Urban Ecology Center to develop the proposal.
“Our continued partnership with the Urban Ecology Center will bring major improvements to Washington Park facilities, and new programming opportunities for residents to enjoy. The Urban Ecology Center’s investment in Washington Park will benefit county residents for years to come,” said Nicholson.
The agreement allows the Urban Ecology Center to improve the Washington Park boat house, expand programming in Washington Park, improve public facilities, and ensure the long-term presence of the UEC in Washington Park
The UEC leased the boat house in Washington Park from the County in 2007 and extended that lease in 2013.
The new lease authorizes the UCE to construct a new building at the current location of the Washington Park boat house, which would serve as a hub of activity and a base for UEC programming.
UEC intends to fund the construction of the new $12 million boat house through a major fundraising campaign, and raise an additional $2 million for other improvements, including a new parking lot, sidewalks, restrooms and repairs to the pedestrian bridge over the lagoon.
UEC will also develop a long-term plan for increasing UEC programming in the park and expand upon efforts to restore certain areas of the park.
Extensive restoration plans for Washington Park were developed previously, in 2000 and 2015.
Washington Park was designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.