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CREATING COMMUNITY... just add water!

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Creating A New Gathering Place For Milwaukee's Northwest Side

In the heart of Milwaukee's Northwest side, the Choice Neighborhood Initiative is working to transform Westlawn gardens and the surrounding neighborhoods into a sustainable, green community with quality housing, schools, businesses, and amenities.


Key to all of this is the goal of breaking down social barriers, increasing community cohesion, and building neighborhood pride. To achieve this, we are connecting residents through local activities and recreational amenities to create a neighborhood characterized by healthy, sustainable lifestyles. The development of a splash pad and pool house at Westlawn Gardens is a vital step toward achieving these important goals. 

The Westlawn Gardens splash pad will bring people of all ages and abilities together to enjoy exercise, a rich sensory experience, fun, and a profound sense of community!

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A Place For Everyone at Westlawn Gardens

Bustling public play spaces are indicators of healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. The creation of an attractive, modern, safe, and fun splash pad would be a true destination for families throughout the area, and help inspire pride in the community. The Wetslawn Gardens splash pad will build upon existing assets in the neighborhood including two playgrounds, a public pavilion, and a community garden. And unlike swimming pools, splash pads are safe and accesssible areas for people of all ages, abilities, and socioecoomic conditions. When built, the splash pad at Westlawn Gardens will be wheelchair accessible and will have features that parents can enjoy with their children. The splash pad will also be free for all visitors

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- Kay Redfield Jamison, Contemporary American Professor of Psychiatry

A Place For Healthy Play and Learning

The need for community building and encouraging healthy, sustainable lifestyles is an obvious one. So why is building a splash pad such an important step? Because play, particularly for children, is a necessity every community should facilitate. In fact, the right to play is recognized by the United Nations as a human right.

Play has a tremendous impact upon a child's fitness, education, and emotional and social wellbeing. When kids play, they are learning reflexes, movement control, increasing flexibility and muscle strength, and preventing obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Play also helps children develop language and reasoning skills and encourages autonomous thinking and problem solving. Evidence suggests play may improve academic performance.

Finally, play positively impacts a child's emotional development. It builds self confidence, allows children to experiment with various emotions, and even releases emotions from trauma.

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We Need You To Help Make A Splash In Our Community

Fundraising is well underway with $400,000 in matching funds available toward the $1 million goal. You can play a pivotal role in establishing a splash pad at Westlawn Gardens, ensuring that people of all ages, abilities, and socioeconomic statuses have the opportunity to engage in play and receive all the associated benefits of such activities. Help bring this exciting new amenity to the families of Milwaukee's Northwest side through a donation by clicking here.

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To learn more, contact Paul Williams, CNI Coordinator at the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee.

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