In case you need a refresher: On Tuesday, it was revealed that Milwaukee County Parks had written a letter to the developer of Pokemon Go, Niantic, Inc., asking for the removal of PokeStops from Lake Park. Later that day, the Milwaukee County Executive office clarified that what it really meant was that Niantic should pay a permit fee to cover the various damages and inconveniences the park has accrued due to the game. Now, the Milwaukee County “Exeggutor” himself, Chris Abele, has released a statement on the matter. Here’s the Poke-pun-filled press release:
We WANT You to Pika-choose Milwaukee County Parks
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Exeggutor Chris Abele today released the following statement in response to some conflicting information regarding the County’s position on Pokémon GO in our County Parks.
“I believe strongly that access to public spaces inspires passion for parks as a part of people’s daily lives, helps promote a strong sense of community, and encourages learning and stewardship. From expanding our beer gardens to bringing futsal to Wisconsin, it’s always been our Instinct to enhance Milwaukee County’s award-winning Parks System and create opportunities to welcome more people to our Parks whenever possible.
“That’s why I was discouraged by recent reports that created some confusion around the County’s position on Pokémon GO.
“We’ve enjoyed watching the Pokémon GO phenomenon take off in our County parks. Pokémon GO has brought thousands of new users into our parks at events like our Poke-nic in Mitchell Park and just by visiting Pokestops all throughout the County.
“While these parks visitors new and old are welcome additions, and most are respectful of our shared public spaces, the increase in traffic has unfortunately come with some bad park-use etiquette that harms the Prestige level of our system and leads to problems for neighbors who’ve chosen to make their homes near County parks.
“I believe that the County’s PokéCoins should be spent investing in new amenities everyone can enjoy, expanding our Urban Parks Initiative, and upgrading more parks to be ADA accessible – not on additional park patrols and clean-up crews necessitated by a few bad Krabbies who won’t pick up their Muk. That’s why we’ve asked Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO, to simply follow our documented permitting process for geocaching so that they can share in the responsibility of maintaining these spaces. It’s not a Mystic request; more than 400 local users have applied for and received these permits over the past eight years and we think large corporations should be held to the same standards.
“To be clear, simply playing Pokémon GO doesn’t require a permit – that would be Tentacruel to ask of people who are just trying to get outside and explore our parks. Milwaukee County Parks are open and we want more people to Pika-choose them today and every day.”