POSTED ON JANUARY 12th, 2010
Ice skating returns to Kosciuszko Park
A long-time south side Milwaukee tradition, ice skating on the frozen lagoon at Kosciuszko Park, has returned, thanks to a collaboration involving Urban Anthropology, Inc. and Milwaukee’s Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative. Healthy Neighborhoods is supported by the City of Milwaukee and Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
Skaters are welcome from 4 to 7 pm every Monday and Tuesday from January 11 through February 9. A warming tent and free skate rental are available. The lagoon is located between 7th and 8th Streets near Lincoln Avenue. Signs will be posted in case ice conditions are not deemed safe for skating.
“Free ice-skating is a great way to ensure that people can take advantage all year of a wonderful Lincoln Village neighborhood asset, Kosciuszko Park,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “That’s the point of the Healthy Neighborhoods program: to support local efforts that call attention to neighborhood assets.”
12th district Alderman Jim Witkowiak, whose district includes the park and the lagoon, said he has many fond childhood memories of skating on the Kosciuszko Park lagoon. “That’s where I learned to ice skate, and I believe some of trees there still bear marks from a few of my falls and stunt jumps,” he said with a laugh.
“I was the smallest kid in the group of guys I hung around with, so we’d play ‘crack the whip’ and I was always on the end,” Witkowiak said. “Now, thanks to the Healthy Neighborhoods program and Urban Anthropology, neighborhood kids and the community at large can store away those same kinds of fun memories while experiencing winter ice skating in the city at its best.”
“It’s a great return to the Lincoln Village of yesteryear,” said Jill F. Lackey, executive director of Urban Anthropology, Inc. “We welcome skaters from throughout Milwaukee to enjoy one of our neighborhood’s finest traditions.”
Urban Anthropology, Inc., which spearheads Healthy Neighborhood program activities in the neighborhood, is a community-based membership association dedicated to the celebration of cultural diversity and a holistic approach to urban problem-solving. The re-opening of the ice rink is part of the group’s “Beautiful Blocks” program, which also includes activities such as creating an idea book and holding workshops to help property owners improve the curb appeal of their homes. Urban Anthropology also is sponsoring a five-week Winter Wonderland after-school program that teaches youth about the history and cultural origins of winter sports, including ice-skating at the Kosciuszko lagoon rink.
Lincoln Village is one of nine neighborhoods that receive support for neighborhood improvement projects through the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, a unique collaboration between the City of Milwaukee and Greater Milwaukee Foundation designed to strengthen neighborhoods and make them more attractive for home ownership. The Initiative provided a $1,300 grant, matched by Urban Anthropology, to defer costs of the ice skating project. Healthy Neighborhoods grants have been made for a variety of projects ranging from public art to neighborhood beautification to community gardens.