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THE PARK PEOPLE- an introduction

The Park People believe that public parks enrich our lives and communities. Our programs and initiatives are designed to engage citizens, businesses and corporations in the revitalization of our storied Park System through volunteer activities, like the Weed-Out® Spring/Fall 2022 schedule of Milwaukee County, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c )(3) organization.

Volunteer With Us!

Find 2022 Weed-Out®  dates here

Learn more about our Trash-Out program.

Join Trail Thursdays at Milwaukee County Parks!

The Forked Aster Trail offers hikers 40 miles of trails throughout the Milwaukee County Parks system, offering wonderful opportunities to get back into nature. The Parks Department is looking for volunteers to help clean up and improve this trail system. Consider helping out with trail maintenance. Take a look at the schedule to find a park and day where you’d be able to lend a hand.

Get Fit at your Milwaukee County Parks!

Wisconsin Athletic Club (WAC) is offering several FREE fitness classes at McCarty and Greenfield Parks during July and August! Join them and get in shape this summer!

The Park People – Testimonials on Friends Groups

The Park People’s purpose is to preserve, support, and enhance Milwaukee County Parks while building an effective volunteer organization.

“The Milwaukee County parks that have volunteer friends groups committed to enhancing that park continue to be successful in bringing more people to engage in the park, bringing outside funds to help sustain the park, and creating more activities to help fulfill Milwaukee County Parks’ mission and vision.”

-Guy Smith, Milwaukee County Parks Director

“Our Friends groups and our beloved parks are stronger because of the great work of The Park People. With The Park People’s support, Friends Groups can focus their energy into enhancing their parks and ensuring they’re clean, safe, and accessible for everyone.”

-Jason Haas, Milwaukee County Supervisor, 14th District Chair, Committee on Parks, Energy & Environment

“The Park People of Milwaukee County, and each friends group under their umbrella, help execute the campaigns needed to restore, enhance, and expand what is possible in the parks.”

-Jay Burseth, Fund Development Manager, Milwaukee County Parks

“Friends Groups help activate their parks. They bring energy to their efforts and help connect local communities to their parks in new ways. Friends Groups often serve as the eyes and ears of our parks. We wish every park had a Friends Group!”

-Lindsay, Engagement Manager, Milwaukee County Parks

“Park People are an invaluable organization to the Milwaukee County Park System because they have built a network of organizations and volunteers that improve the parks, raise funds, and organize community members. The parks are a valued resource that are nurtured by the friends groups that are held together with the expertise and encouragement of the Park People.” 

-Katie Williams, PHd.
Author of thesis, Volunteers in Milwaukee County Parks: A Case Study.
A critical examination of the role of volunteers in managing parks.

“The behind the scenes work which Park People does is rather invisible, yet so valuable to our community. I appreciate the generosity of the Park People in helping Friends Groups to organize and find money and resources for projects, recruiting thousands of volunteers for Weedouts, and promoting the value and exploration of our parks by coordinating the Oak Leaf Discovery Tour Passport program for the last 8 years.”

-Cheri Briscoe, Director Milwaukee Parks Foundation

“About 12 years ago I decided that my neighborhood park, Estabrook, needed help and that I was going to step up to see that it was provided. As a member of another volunteer group, I was familiar with the administrative that seems daunting to volunteer groups – getting 501c3 status, soliciting volunteers, getting a sales tax exemption, covering liability, etc. I was most pleased to learn The Park People of Milwaukee could help our Friends group with all of that and more. It has been a very positive relationship for the Friends of Estabrook Park. Thank you Park People.”

-Harold Schmid, Friends of Estabrook

“Friends of Lincoln Park chose to join The Park People so we could focus on celebrating our neighbors and neighborhoods in Lincoln Park. The Park People provided us with mentorship, tools, and taught us how to identify invasive plants in our park.”

-Sally Callan, Friends of Lincoln Park

“You can use the following for our statement: The Friends of Brown Deer Park was started in 2016 to enhance and advocate for this very large park that didn’t have any Friends group, and found the expertise and support of the Park People was very beneficial to getting us up and running. We have collaborated with other Friends Groups, especially Lincoln Park Friends, and are glad for the fiscal sponsorship the Park People provides.”

– Jim Farmer and Rob Guilbert, Friends of Brown Deer