At the October 3rd luncheon, President JoAnne announced with great enthusiasm that the Rotary Club of Milwaukee will join other community leaders in developing the Lincoln Avenue Stable. Our club will donate $250,000 to the project.
The Lincoln Avenue Stable is an entirely new concept as it connects the Milwaukee Police Department with equine-assisted therapy. The Stable will house 24 highly trained horses that will be used for equine-assisted therapy, community engagement and Milwaukee Police Department patrols.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn joined the announcement to talk about the value of mounted patrols for public safety and community engagement. Chief Flynn reported that in 1934, Mayor Hoan tried to abolish the Mounted Police Patrol against the wishes of Police Chief Laubenheimer. The Chief reached out to Edward Wagner, then the Rotary Club of Milwaukee President, and under his leadership Rotarians raised over $3,000 to save the mounted patrol. When the National Safety Council in 1934 declared Milwaukee the safest city in the nation, the Chief gave the credit to Rotary.
In the words of Chief Flynn: “There is a proud tradition not just of service in the mounted unit, but of service by Rotary with the mounted unit.”
At the October 3rd luncheon Rotarian Marianne Canter also eloquently explained equine-assisted therapy and how it helps children and adults with autism, mobility issues and PTSD.
To date, 36 donors have contributed just over $110,000 to the Lincoln Avenue Stable. We hope that all Club members will want to support this effort and help the Club meet our obligation to the community. This serves as another example of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee’s commitment to the Four-Way Test.
The Rotary Club of Milwaukee (RCM) is joining other community leaders to develop the Lincoln Avenue Stable (The Stable). We are committed to raising $250,000 and this gift will be recognized in the Welcoming Atrium.
Lincoln Avenue Stable.
Our club has a long history of supporting worthwhile projects that benefit the entire community. Projects such as the Arboretum at the Urban Ecology Center – enjoyed by more than 100,000 visitors each year, and the Rotary Amphitheater at Discovery World – where nearly 20,000 people enjoy RCM’s Live@The Lakefront each summer.
After careful consideration and vetting, a RCM committee and our board of directors chose the Lincoln Avenue Stable as our club’s next big community project. Here’s why:
The Lincoln Avenue Stable is an entirely new concept providing three distinctly different community advantages. The Stable will house 24 highly trained horses. These four-legged city of Milwaukee ambassadors will be used for equine therapy, community experiences and Milwaukee Police Department patrols. (The health of the horses will be monitored through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine.)
Milwaukee Police Department Mounted Patrol: The anchor for The Stable’s ability to provide equine therapy and create unique experiences for disadvantaged youth is the Milwaukee Police Department’s Mounted Patrol (MPD). The Stable will address several pressing needs of the MPD. Currently MPD houses its patrol horses in Racine County; having them at a centralized location will reduce the transportation time to Milwaukee neighborhoods.
The MPD will increase the number of mounted patrol horses from six to 12, allowing MPD to manage two shifts. Daytime shifts will focus on community interaction with evening officers providing crowd and patrol services.
Community Center The relationship between police officers and community members is a subject of growing importance. Today the MPD does not have space with an approachable atmosphere for building relationships —a place where MPD can welcome visitors. The Lincoln Avenue Stable will be that space. The MPD will have full time community outreach staff assigned to The Stable and anticipates hosting nearly 20,000 visitors annually.
This one-of-kind facility will house 24 horses. Half of the horses will be dedicated to the Milwaukee Police Department’s Mounted Patrol and half devoted to the equine-assisted therapy program and community outreach.
Equine Assisted Therapy helps treat individuals with neurological diseases or disorders such as cerebral palsy, brain injuries, etc. The rhythmical gait of a horse acts to move the rider’s pelvis in the same rotation and side-to-side movement that occurs when walking; a rider’s pelvic motion is constantly adjusted and thus the rider gains strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, posture and mobility. Confidence and overall well-being are also improved and equine therapy has shown some success in helping children on the autism spectrum — engage. This accredited program is similar to those available in more than 850 other communities nationwide. Watch a video about equine assisted therapy here.
Location: Located on the southeast corner of First Street & Lincoln Avenue on four acres donated by the city. The Stable will enhance the community connection in the Harbor District neighborhood.
Project Cost: $5.2 million. Public support $1.2 million and to date more than $1 million in private donations have been pledged. In addition to the RCM contribution, viable requests exceeding the balance are now under consideration and expected to be confirmed within the next 90 days.
Project Timeline: When full funding is in place, final construction approvals and activity will take up to 9 months to complete. It is a shovel ready project!
Volunteer Opportunities: Rotarians will be find meaningful ways to contribute their time and their talents. Including nonprofit board membership, assisting with equine-assisted therapy programs, and co-facilitating youth programming with the MPD.