MILWAUKEE – Community members in the Amani neighborhood have been celebrating the revitalization of Milwaukee County’s Moody Park since its grand reopening last summer, and now they have even more to celebrate as the Park’s renovation has been recognized with a Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) award for the best public space that builds community.
At the MANDI awards ceremony last week, Milwaukee County’s Moody Park renovation took the Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award for the best public space that builds community and contributes to the overall well-being of the neighborhood.
“There were some who disagreed on whether we should transform Moody Park, but after years of the Park sitting underutilized I knew we needed to do something to turn this space into a place the community could embrace and enjoy,” County Executive Abele said.
“I’m grateful to everyone who contributed to a new vision for the park, especially the neighbors of Amani United, and am proud to see this hard work honored with a MANDI award.
But the real victory is that instead of a shuttered pool, Moody Park is now the home to a community center, a splash pad, and dozens of educational and recreational opportunities for Milwaukeeans of all generations.
I always knew that our community-driven approach to thinking about what can be in Milwaukee County Parks was a winner, and now we have proof.”
As part of County Executive Chris Abele’s Urban Parks Initiative, Milwaukee County’s Moody Park has been completely transformed, and the investment has brought the community together.
Moody Park was one of five parks included in the first phase of this ongoing community investment to replace old, abandoned, and costly facilities with multiple features that are more responsive to the needs of the community.
Built in 1978, the natatorium in the park had been closed and unused since 2002 due to low attendance and high maintenance costs.
The shuttered pool was an eyesore and a magnet for vandalism and crime. In the 2013 budget, Abele proposed an investment of $2,000,000 into Moody Park which would result in the demolition of the pool and the creation of a new active and passive recreational green space and community building that would serve an intergenerational neighborhood.
Through the County’s partnership with Amani United, Friends of Moody Park, COA-Goldin Center, Dominican Center for Women, Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, and Milwaukee Public School-Auer Avenue, the new park has become a positive rallying point for the community and provides a safe and accessible place for all to visit, learn, and enjoy.