Havenwoods neighborhood is home to the Havenwoods State Forest, one of only two state parks in Milwaukee and the only state forest in the city. “Friends of Havenwoods” and Havenwoods EDC held two listening sessions on March 10 and 11 to talk about the future of the park, especially in light of dwindling resources. Judy Dollhausen of Friends of Havenwoods and Stephanie Harling, Havenwoods EDC executive director have coordinated the gatherings. Judy Klippel, superintendent of the park, along with Melissa Cook, WI DNR trail manager, have assisted in the sessions with their expertise and experience. Cook manages Menomonee Valley’s Hank Aaron State Trail. Klippel has been staffing the Havenwoods Forest for over 25 years.
Residents, business executives and other community stakeholders joined together to answer the question, “What do we want Havenwoods State Forest to look like by 2025?” With answers ranging from bike connector paths to more programs, input was robust.
On Thursday, March 19, there will be a “solutions session” form 4pm-6pm at the State Forest. Stakeholders will assess the given ideas, decide priorities and brainstorm potential implementation strategies.
Though none of the listening sessions nor the solution session discuss state budget issues, the fact remains that diminishing WI State Park resources are part of the issue with recent downward trends in maintenance capabilities. State park staff and educator positions have been increasingly cut. The current proposed state budget will only exasperate the resource insufficiency. As the State Forest is a gem of Milwaukee, helping to make it an appealing place to locate, its preservation is important. With the potential to attract more working families to nearby corridors, caretakers of our Wisconsin economy would do well to heed the forest’s need for preservation.
Watch a video here: Havenwoods Forest in the Fall