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Residents interested in forming a 'friends' group for parks maintenance

Aug. 2, 2011

It's more of a concept than a plan.

Melanie Ariens explained a recent discussion at the Environmental Advisory Commission about the formation of a friends group that would support the parks and green space in the village.

The June discussion of the concept spread to an online article, which got the attention of some residents and Village President Julie Siegel.

The concept, as discussed in June, was the formation of a Friends of Whitefish Bay Parks and Open Spaces using the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation as a model.

At last night's Village Board meeting, Trustee Kevin Buckley suggested a club more along the lines of a group such as the Whitefish Bay Garden Club might be an easier and direct way to go.

The Civic Foundation was chartered by the village but rather than have a similar group, a less formal private club might meet the goals of those interested in helping the Department of Public Works with maintenance in the parks and open spaces, he said.

Ariens said several people, including the Whitefish Bay Garden Club and a scout troop, have called to express interest in the concept. The Garden Club now helps maintain some flower beds, she said.

A Friends of Klode Park was formed about a year ago. Its focus was on playground equipment, rather than landscaping, however.

Ariens, who announced she is stepping down as the chairman of the EAC because of a new job, said she will work with others on a plan for "friends" group that could be ready to help the DPW next spring.

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