Cute boy on swings in Johnsons Park image

Johnsons Park becomes a community treasure once again.

Center for Resilient Cities works with neighbors and community organizations to create urban green space that meets the diverse needs of neighbors and community groups.

As the largest park space in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, Johnsons Park is the community’s place to gather and play. Historically though, the 11.5-acre Milwaukee County Park has not lived up to its potential. For several years, Center for Resilient Cities worked with neighbors and community leaders to turn Johnsons Park into a safe, welcoming space for people of all ages to gather, enjoy nature and engage in healthy physical activity.

In 2009, Center for Resilient Cities partnered with Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee to help increase safety in Johnsons Park by removing constructed hills that blocked visibility into the park. Advocacy for the park’s transformation has been ongoing, and Milwaukee County has responded to neighbors’ requests for playground equipment and a Helios exercise station.

The vision neighbors and community groups have for their park space began to take physical shape during the summer of 2015. Center for Resilient Cities provided oversight for the addition of a new performance stage, energy-efficient lighting, pathways, and the renovation of a T-ball field and a larger sports practice field for youth teams. An additional 80 trees were planted, and a storm water retention basin, bioswale, has been built. Milwaukee County constructed a new picnic shelter and new restroom facilities. Johnsons Park is once again an inviting, all-season open space that offers community engagement and connection with nature to the neighbors and families living nearby.

Project Facts:

At completion in June 2016, Johnsons Park features:

  • A new picnic shelter and new restrooms, in partnership with Milwaukee County Parks
  • An open-air performance stage
  • Tree-lined paths that provide circuits for walking and running
  • Energy-efficient lighting along paths and park entrances. The first of its kind in an urban Milwaukee County park, the LED lighting will create greater visibility in the park during nighttime use.
  • Improved sports field surfaces, and storm water drainage to reduce flooding on the playing fields
  • 80 additional trees, as well as flowers and ornamental grasses
  • New benches and bicycle racks

Moving Forward

Johnsons Park is a high-quality green space for neighborhood residents. Youth-serving organizations such as Brown Street Academy Boys & Girls Club CLC, Neu-Life Community Development and Running Rebels use the park for youth programming in the areas of sports, wellness and the arts. The enhanced amenities provide many options to these organizations and the neighbors to be engaged with healthy outdoor activities today and for many years to come.