For a few years now, Doctors Park has been well known for it's dilapidated parking lot, washed out path to the beach and shut down beach house. With budget cuts leaving little money for the Milwaukee County-owned park, a group of residents are taking matters into their own hands and spearheading a movement to restore the park to its old glory.
"We want to hear people's stories and memories and we want to make those memories come alive again for the next generation so they can have picnics down there, they can go swimming and they can do all those wonderful things," said Kim Caviggiola, a member of the Doctors Park Friends steering committee.
The brand-new group has met only three times but has already garnered support from more than 20 consistent, regularly active members, 61 "Likes" on Facebook and has even begun a new Patch blog. However, Caviggiola said the group still needs more members.
"If they have an area of expertise such as architecture, plumbing, carpentry, painting, landscaping — all of these things could help us out as we start looking at the Master Plan and what needs to be improved," she said.
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There is no fee to join the Doctors Park Friends, but just like anything else, Caviggiola said the group's initiatives will also take money.
"Because we have operating expenses that we need to take care of," she said. "We also want the funds to go directly into the park."
The Park People of Milwaukee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the fiscal agent for Doctors Park Friends, so all donations to the group are tax deductible.
The group hopes to eventually reopen the beach house and make the bathrooms handicapped accessible. They would also like to clean out the basement underneath the bathrooms — which flooded recently — so they can have their regular meetings at the park instead of at the Fox Point Police Department.
There are monthly informational meetings and Caviggiola said they plan to make a presentation at the next Fox Point Village Board meeting on May 8.
"It's just going to take time to get the word out there and get people that are passionate about improving the park," Caviggiola said.