County Executive Chris Abele joined Amani neighborhood residents and community partners on Thursday, August 20th to celebrate the grand reopening of Calvin Moody Park, located at 2200 W. Burleigh St. This renewal of an important community asset was celebrated with a day of family activities from 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
County Executive Abele offered remarks and participated in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:40 p.m, with a concert performance by AhVant- Soul immediately following the ceremony.
“I am humbled by the role Milwaukee County has been able to play in enhancing community ownership and togetherness in the Amani neighborhood,” County Executive Abele said.
“The new Moody Park is a physical representation of the hard work that residents have put in to successfully build a greater sense of community in Amani.”
The County Executive initially proposed this revitalization in his 2013 budget as part of Milwaukee County’s Urban Parks Initiative, an ongoing community investment that replaces old, abandoned, and costly facilities with multiple features that are more responsive to the needs of the community.
Many more residents will use and enjoy the new Moody Park, which replaces the former Moody Pool, a long shuttered and underutilized facility that was a drain on resources and an eyesore along Burleigh St.
A 2 million dollar investment, the design of the new Moody Park recognizes the intergenerational diversity of the surrounding neighborhood and seeks to weave together different assets to foster community cohesion.
In addition to a new community building, features of the revitalized park include areas for active and passive recreation that cater to all age groups.
Active spaces were composed of a colorful splashpad with spray elements, three basketball courts, a Helios multigym exercise structure, open space for field-sport practice, walking paths, a multi-use open-air shelter, and shaded seating in the splashpad area.
Additionally, a portion of the park’s green space was set aside for a community garden, which allowed neighbors to grow healthy food.
“The new Moody Park is the latest example of the approach we take to building quality of life in the community,” Abele said.
“By working with the community and engaging in disciplined decision making, we were able to produce a park that honors the legacy of Calvin Moody.”
Throughout Thursday’s grand re-opening festivities, families enjoyed carnival games, art activities, and learning about health and safety from Spriggy and Dr. Cleo, mascots from Children’s Hospital and Molina Health Services respectively.
A chess tournament will also be taking place in the park.
Free hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn were available while supplies last. At 6:00 p.m., AhVantSoul, led by Jon Pierre Gee and Kat Webb, took the stage to perform a mix of classic soul, jazz-funk, R&B, and Latin music.
Milwaukee County’s redevelopment of Moody Park was made possible through the input and support of Amani United, Auer Avenue School, the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, COA Goldin Center, the Dominican Center for Women, Friends of Moody Park, and other community leaders.
Milwaukee County will continue to partner with the community to ensure that the park always provides the value that residents deserve.