Organization Formed on Behalf of Milwaukee Dogs

A group of more than 60 people are creating an organization with hopes to establish legal off-leash dog parks in Milwaukee. The organization is called ROMP 4 Dogs. ROMP stands for Residents for Off-leash Milwaukee Parks. The group plans to establish not-for-profit status to create a budget to maintain trails, put up fencing and signage, and purchase waste cans and yard tools for their dog parks. ROMP is recommending parks modeled on plans used in cities like Chicago and Madison. Members recently voted to elect a board of seven officers who are currently making headway with three committees devoted to site feasibility, marketing and public relations, and financial and legal issues. The site committee has already created a list and is investigating possible locations for its first park. Most of the attractive, useful land belongs to Milwaukee County. ROMP has been in contact with County Supervisor Gerry Broderick, County Parks Department officials, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, all of whom have been supportive in their comments and willingness to forward information that will facilitate the effort. ROMP meets at 7 p.m. every third Thursday at the Urban Ecology Center behind Riverside High School. The public is encouraged to attend. More than half of the group is also communicating via an email community formed to discuss ideas, post meeting minutes, and assign tasks. The list was created months ago so people could set play-dates for their dogs when traveling to suburban parks. Now the list is serving much more than a way to find out when folks will be meeting to let their dogs frolic. A web site is also under construction at The group members are a driving force behind legally creating space for our canine companions, meeting their most basic needs, to exercise and socialize as pack animals do. With the high concentration of dogs in our area, it’s a necessary project. Having parks set aside for dogs is a good idea for a community, said Robin Barry, Chair Person for the ROMP marketing and public relations committee. The end result would be that people won’t take their dogs into prohibited areas if they had legal areas to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. ROMP 4 Dogs will be announcing fundraising events by circulating promotional fliers around the East Side and Riverwest streets and businesses. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 1 – January 2003