MILWAUKEE – Today the County Board adopted (12-6) a proposal by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson to provide funding for a summer roller skating program at Red Arrow Park.
“It’s important to continually look for innovative ideas to engage all facets of our community,” said Chairwoman Nicholson. “We know roller skating is popular in Black communities and that a dedicated space for it does not currently exist anywhere in downtown Milwaukee. This project helps propel our vision of achieving racial and health equity by providing expanded access to physical activities that communities of color are interested in. I’m thankful for my colleagues who met the call of the overwhelming public support this project holds from a diverse group of people across Milwaukee County.”
The resolution transfers $175,000 from the county’s appropriation for contingencies to support a summer roller skating program at Red Arrow Park in July, August, and September of 2022.
“This is the time to do this. Our community needs it, the city needs it, the skaters and the soon-to-be skaters need it,” said Terrence Clarke, owner and instructor at Roll Train. “Roller-skating has such a vibe and energy that destroys stress and exercises the mind and body. It changes strangers into friends and sadness into joy. Free your mind and your skates will follow.”
In May, the Parks Department provided a report stating that transforming the ice-skating rink at Red Arrow Park into a roller-skating rink during the summer can be accomplished if a protective barrier was placed over the concrete surface where the ice is formed.
The Parks Department will provide a report by the end of the year describing either how the funds were spent to implement the program for this year, prepare for implementing the program next year, or otherwise make improvements to the park to prepare for roller skating.