Milwaukee County Parks Launches ‘The Future of Mitchell Park’ Campaign

Public invited to participate in ensuring park remains a valued community asset

MILWAUKEE,WI – The Milwaukee County Parks today unveiled a new campaign designed to chart a course towards an exciting and sustainable future for Mitchell Park and the iconic Mitchell Park Conservatory (i.e. Mitchell Park Domes). Dubbed “The Future of Mitchell Park,” the campaign will serve as a key step in a decades-long process to ensure that Mitchell Park remains a vibrant community asset for generations to come.

The Domes of the Mitchell Park Conservatory have been an iconic Milwaukee landmark for generations, but the facility has reached an inflection point. Operational costs continue to rise and deferred maintenance projects have piled up, making the current path forward unsustainable. While numerous studies have been conducted over the years to shed light on the issues plaguing the Domes and what the future may hold, questions continue to remain. This latest effort, which will meld the expertise of industry-leading consultants with the input of valued community stakeholders, will help determine how Mitchell Park will continue to serve the surrounding community and visitors from near and far long into the future.

“The future of the Mitchell Park Conservatory remains unknown,” said Guy Smith, Executive Director of Milwaukee County Parks. “But what we do know is that the Domes are a treasured asset to our community while also being financially unsustainable in their current state. We’re confident that this effort will help us chart a new course forward in which Mitchell Park can remain an urban oasis and center for horticultural study and enjoyment, while also becoming a more financially and environmentally sustainable element of our broader Milwaukee County Parks system.”

The “Future of Mitchell Park” campaign can be found at The site features and overview of the current financial struggles facing the Mitchell Park Conservatory, a recap of past efforts made to understand the long-term issues facing the facility, and, most importantly, an opportunity for the community to make their voices heard. Also key to the decision will be the recommendations from an ongoing economic study of various paths forward, ranging from repairing the existing Domes structure to removing the facility altogether to building something new and exciting to take its place. The results of this study are expected to be published in the coming months.

“We understand the impact this decision will have on our community, as the Conservatory continues to mean so much to all of our stakeholders,” Smith said. “What we’ve been finding is that, while everyone’s connection to the Domes is unique, there are common underlying themes. If we keep our focus on the original mission of the facility – to ‘inspire people through plants’ – we think a path will emerge that ensures Mitchell Park remains the cherished community asset that it’s always been.”

Milwaukee County Parks is encouraging anyone with an interest in the Mitchell Park Conservatory to visit the new site at and take the time to learn about the issues the facility is facing and the ongoing process to chart a new path forward. Then, let us know what’s important to you. The feedback form on the site will help us to understand both how the community currently uses the facility as well as what elements are most important to sustain to ensure this space continues to inspire future generations just as it has the countless visitors who have already passed through its doors.

The results of the study into the financial feasibility of various paths forward are expected to be published this fall. At that time, Milwaukee County Parks, in partnership with the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, will synthesize the results with the input from the community to formalize a new path forward for the facility.

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