In #RaiseMKE

The ribbon is officially cut at Galena Playground. (PHOTO: MKE Plays/Twitter)

MKE Rec kicks off playfield upgrades as City DPW opens new playground

One day after the City of Milwaukee and members of the Green Bay Packers cut the ribbon on the new Galena Park Playground at 31st and Galena, built in partnership with MKE Plays, Milwaukee Recreation has announced a groundbreaking event that will kick off renovations at a trio of Milwaukee playfields.

On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m., Milwaukee Rec, a division of Milwaukee Public Schools, which maintains 52 playfields all around the city, will break ground at Columbia Playfield, 1345 W. Columbia St., to celebrate renovations planned for Columbia, Custer and Southgate Playfields.

Work at all three is expected to be complete by next summer.

You can see renderings for Columbia here:

Renderings for Custer, 4001 W. Custer Ave., are here:

Southgate, 3350 S. 25th St., formerly called Southlawn Park, renderings are here:

The work follows a 2014 review by an outside consultant of the district's 52 playfields that identified 65 percent of the facilities as being in fair to poor condition and suggested $25 million in necessary improvements to be completed over the next decade.

A priority list based on neighborhood population and need was then created and now work is set to begin.

"Everyone deserves a safe place to recreate and we now have an equitable way to prioritize the renovation projects and truly level the playing field in our city," said Lynn A. Greb, Milwaukee Recreation's senior director, in a statement.

"Our first groundbreaking celebration at Columbia Playfield will be an exciting start to this journey!"

Meanwhile, Packers players, Milwaukee Police officers and volunteers worked together on Galena Playground, which is part of the MKE Plays public/private initiative to transform 13 of the city's worst playgrounds over three years.

The Milwaukee Department of Public Works maintains 64 playgrounds in the city.

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