Creating a great new urban green space is another important step in COA’s efforts to transform the Amani Neighborhood. For over a decade, the boarded up former Moody Pool was a haven for gangs and drugs, but August 29th marked the beginning of a great new community park as more than 480 neighborhood children and families gathered for the new Moody Park groundbreaking ceremony and COA’s Back to School Bash. Adjacent to COA’s Goldin Center at 24th and Burleigh, the new Moody Park, together with the new clinic, Family Resource Center, and new neighborhood association are transforming what was once one of the most distressed areas of Milwaukee.
“COA has led a 5 year struggle to transform a boarded up building and crime ridden area into a great new urban green space,” said Tom Schneider, Executive Director of COA. “Imagine the energy at the ground-breaking when residents, COA staff, the County Executive, and the Milwaukee County Parks Department came together to break ground and get this project started.”
Elected officials including County Executive Chris Abele and County Supervisor David Bowen attended the groundbreaking, as well as representatives from The Dominican Center for Women, Amani United, Friends of Moody Park, and the Milwaukee County Park System. “A lot of hard work and dedication went into the Back to School Bash and Moody ParkGroundbreaking and it was great to see such a large turnout,” said Angela Green, Operations Director at COA’s Goldin Center. “Moody Park is going to transform the neighborhood and I can’t wait until the Amani Community gets their park.”
Plans for Moody Park include a splash pad, basketball courts, sports fields, community gardens, a picnic pavilion, and a 3,000 square foot community building. Construction of Moody Park is scheduled to begin this Fall with an anticipated completion late next spring. If everything goes as planned, Moody Park will officially open and be ready for use in the summer of 2015.
The construction of the park is part of COA’s larger community development initiative in the Amani neighborhood. COA’s expanded programming in the neighborhood is made possible by Doris Duke Charitable Trust Foundation, the Burke Foundation, and Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “The new Moody Park will be a great part of COA’s youth programming, and together with COA’s new Family Resource Center, the new Children’s Hospital – COA pediatric and family clinic, the new Amani United neighborhood association, and the new Friends of Moody Park group, it will complement the overall COA efforts to transform the Amani neighborhood,” said Schneider.
“We are excited about the great youth and family opportunities this new park will provide,” said Schneider.