You have probably heard that in 2017 the Rotary Club of Milwaukee joined other community leaders to develop the Lincoln Avenue Stables—now known as MKE Urban Stables to highlight its location in the heart of our city. Support of the Stables project by our Club and its members has been critical to its successful progress so far.
MKE Urban Stables offers a unique opportunity to achieve three goals at once – a much needed home for the Milwaukee Police Department Mounted Patrol, a center for trauma-informed equine assisted therapy in the City of Milwaukee, and a platform for police/community relations using horses as a citywide draw
Here is an update on where things stand with the Stables project:
Construction of the Stables facility is planned to start in March 2019, with the Stables anticipated to open in early 2020.
The Stables facility will house up to 12 Milwaukee Police Department Mounted Patrol horses and up to 12 equine assisted therapy horses.
A new non-profit corporation, MKE Urban Stables, Inc., will operate the equine assisted therapy program and, in cooperation with the Milwaukee Police Department, will run police/community relations programs from the Stables.
A Programs Advisory Committee of Rotary Club members and other community members from the Milwaukee Police Department, Hamilton High School, the Veterans Administration Hospital, and Safe & Sound has been meeting since April to help guide the development and launch of programs at MKE Urban Stables.
The equine assisted therapy program is planned to phase in to full strength over a three year period beginning in early 2020, with an initial focus on trauma informed therapy for veterans and other community members.
The Milwaukee Police Department plans to use MKE Urban Stables as a focal point for community relations and outreach efforts. Anticipated programming includes: (1) service learning programs built around the care of horses, for high school students with an initial focus on students in the JROTC program at Hamilton High School, (2) experiential learning programs built around horses, horsemanship, and the civic role of law enforcement, for elementary and intermediate school students, and (3) learning and dialogue programs for youth and police to promote community healing.
The current estimate of total construction costs for the Stables project is $5.65 million, with a little over $5 million (88.5% of the total) secured to date, including our Club’s $250,000 pledge. Fundraising efforts are ongoing for the balance of construction costs, with strong prospects identified.
This is a first of its kind effort to bring together police and therapy horses in an urban stable and to use the presence and care of the horses to anchor programs for police/community outreach and healing—and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee is excited to witness the progress.
Our Club pledged $250,000 to this project. If you would like to play a part in bringing this unique community project to life, please contact the Rotary office.