Victory Over Violence Park is well known throughout Milwaukee. For years, the site was a vacant lot, and had become one of the most dangerous and violent areas of the central city where multiple shootings, muggings, and assaults were reports. Almost 20 years ago, Charles Hausmann, Linder Law LLC, and Jeanetta Robinson, Career Youth Development, came together to transform the space into a gathering place for community members. Although much of the work was completed in the 1990’s, the space continues to require care, attention, and maintenance.
Groundwork Milwaukee, in collaboration with WestCare, BID 32, Safe Zone Initiative, Safe & Sound, the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office, and the City of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention, among others, is working to revitalize and restore Victory Over Violence Park. Groundwork Milwaukee’s team is supporting the facilitation of upgrades to the park with consideration for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Groundwork Milwaukee will work with Landscape Architectural students from Milwaukee School of Engineering to design a space that will function with the original intent conceptualized by Charles Hausmann and Jeannetta Robinson. Some of the design aspects include removing and transplanting unwanted trees that are costly to maintain, removing invasive plant species that have overgrown the park to allow an open sight-line for safety, and rearranging perennials and flowers in a meaningful way.
The redesign of Victory Over Violence Park is a multi-phase project. However, throughout the summer of 2018, Groundwork Milwaukee has contributed to the first phase of the project including park clean up and plant removal. The next phase will be to bring the concept to a professional landscape architect and create a design that will incorporate initial plans with community members’ ideas. Upon completion of the park, which is projected for the summer of 2020, contributors want to see the park used for positive, purposeful interactions.
Groundwork Milwaukee’s Community Outreach Liaison, Tony Gibson, is working closely with collaborators on this project, and hopes to see the park become a “rallying point for violence and social justice issues.” We asked Tony what residents can do to contribute to the process. “First and foremost, advocate the park’s mission of violence prevention and youth safety. If you are looking for more ways to get involved, consider donating your time to clean-up or your dollars to help us complete this important project,” said Tony.
For more information or to support the redesign of Victory Over Violence Park, contact Tony Gibson, Community Outreach Coordinator, at Tony@GroundworkMKE.org. To take a full walk-through of the site using Mapillary, check out the link here.