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Kilbourn-Kadish Park Committee

The Kilbourn-Kadish Park Planning Committee started their monthly meeting on Oct. 13. by reviewing the article Whitney Gould had written about the park in the September 30 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The vital ingredients,” she wrote, “are neighborhood involvement and a strong non-profit that will be around for a long time.” Great encouragement for the dedicated group gathered after their regular workdays to help make sure the park in their neighborhood is what it needs to be. Items on the agenda were encouraging. The Mary Nohl Fund gave a grant of $35,000 to create a community arts project in the new mini-amphitheater built into the park’s hill face. The grant includes funds for artwork and for electrification for the stage and lighting. Neighborhood artist Marina Lee is in charge of creating the artwork for the amphitheater project. Those who have seen her work at Snail’s Crossing, the pocket part at Burleigh and Bremen Streets are looking forward to seeing what Marina will come up with this time. The maintenance building in the park that is being built by the city to house equipment was proceeding, with completion anticipated within two weeks. All the new pathways have been completed. There was a report on the extensive summer programming in the park and discussion about program planning for next year. The group was divided on whether to designate separate committees for facilities and programming or simply make decisions as a group. Discussion was tabled until the next meeting. Improvements to the soccer field in the park were discussed. Members of the group were exploring the possibility of a grant from a local gardening business. The group reached consensus that if the resources could be found, necessary improvements to the soccer field should be made this fall. The group discussed signage and the issue of dogs in the park. Those two items were put on the agenda for the next meeting. Also discussed was the issue of naming the park. The area between North Avenue and the top of the bluff has been designated by the city as Kilbourn Park. However, with the clearing and landscaping done this summer, the area of the bluff down to Commerce Street is, technically, new parkland, which the neighborhood now has the right to name. The name Kilbourn-Kadish Park is currently in use by the group, with the new section of parkland named after Alice Bertsche Kadish, area schoolteacher and founder of the Halbert and Alice Kadish Foundation, which has endowed many programs and projects at COA Youth and Family Centers over the years. The next meeting will be held Nov. 17 at 5:30 pm at COA Youth and Family Centers, 909 E. North Ave. If you have questions about the group or the park, please call Tom Schneider, Executive Director of COA at 263-8383.