About Washington Park Partners
The mission of Washington Park Partners is to lead a neighborhood-wide effort of diverse people working together to build a thriving community
Washington Park Partners (WPP) is a growing collaboration of residents, businesses, and agencies. As a concept to initiate community discussions surrounding neighborhood economic development opportunities, and the concern about quality housing options, WPP was introduced about 15 years ago by the Milwaukee chapter of a national community redevelopment agency, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
Located on the City of Milwaukee’s West Side in the 53208 zip code, the WPP boundaries are North 31st Street to WI-175 and West Meinecke Avenue to West McKinely Boulevard. While this collaboration predominantly services the redevelopments within the Washington Park and Historic Walnut Hill Neighborhoods, there is inclusion of residents and partners or some geographic portions of the Martin Drive; Metcalfe Park; Uptown Crossings; Washington Heights; and Sherman Park Neighborhoods.
United Methodist Children’s Services (UMCS) a 501c3 first volunteered to convene WPP by partnering with LISC and the rest of the WPP collaboration to initiate plans to redevelop support to residents from grassroots levels and to engage them. This happened during a nationwide economic downturn and foreclosure crisis during and around the year 2010. UMCS was a strong choice to turn to in its own timely expansion of $17 million worth of affordable housing units in the neighborhood.
The collaboration rejuvinated once again, reached a milestone peak on May 1, 2010 when approximately 100 partners came together to brainstorm and identify potential neighborhood preservation and redevelopment opportunities. Seven themes emerged, inspiring action committees and a steering committee to guide by preparing detailed plans to be served by partners for following initiatives: Arts & Culture; Education; Health & Wellness; Housing; Business & Jobs; Park; and Safety.
After many years of genuine efforts, shared commitments, and engagement of a multitude of partners WPP closed and celebrated its first five years of the Sustainable Community Plan on December 31, 2016. WPP acknowledges those who have championed strategies between 2010-2011, and the teams who have activated plans and projects from 2012-2016.
WPP pushes forward in 2017 with plans in which were revised by partners who serviced each theme (committees) in November 2016 and agreed to carry them through this year. WPP is fulfilled by the partnerships servicing mutual goals and outcomes of our Sustainable Community Plan Version 2 (issued January 2017). WPP plans to merge our themes for increased understanding and to merge our structures to increase engagement.
Click here for our most recent collaborative report: 2017 Year in Review
Sustainability of the plan is sourced by both financial support to activate the technical and professional programming support needed for the plan, and also by partnerships to engage the work. Partners past and present include but are not limited to the following: