Friends of the Park group being planned

Nonprofit organization expected to help raise funds for outdoor space amenities
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Village of Grafton is seeking to create a nonprofit Friends of the Park group to provide amenities and resources for outdoor recreation spaces.  

“We’ve talked about it several times over the years. The problem was finding citizens of the community who would like to be a part of that and lead it,” Parks and Recreation Director John Safstrom said.

Last month, Safstrom formally proposed creating the group to the Parks and Recreation Board. The nonprofit group would be a separate entity from the village. 

No action was taken at the meeting, but the board outlined how the group will be formed and operated.

Safstrom said the village has a five-year capital improvement program for park amenities that cost more than $3,000. 

“Our capital improvement program is for things we need whereas this group would be for planning additional things that we want for the parks,” Safstrom said.

“Our goal is not to compete with the capital improvement program in any way. We still have to research this further by looking at each park.”

The Friends of the Park group would be a tax-exempt nonprofit entity. Funds raised will be used for development, new property acquisition, maintenance and additional amenities. 

The group would provide financial resources for park projects and recreational programs that the village cannot include in its annual budget. 

Safstrom said the Parks and Recreation Board will formalize a list of priorities for a Friends of the Parks group at its next meeting Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Mark Slaminski, who is a member of the Parks and Recreation Board, will lead the group. 

“He’s pretty passionate about this stuff, and he loves being on our Parks and Rec Board,” Safstrom said.

The new group will be funded through several fundraisers, such as a beer garden, charitable run and possibly a men’s night out, according to Safstrom

“Grafton already has a Ladies Night Out that is very successful. This might be something the group would want to undertake,” Safstrom said.

He said the plan is to have the group organized in February or March.

“We’re taking it slow. We want to make sure we have everything right and have all our questions answered,” Safstrom said. 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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