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.
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.
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.
Milwaukee Police Department Mounted Patrol will have several pressing needs addressed by the Stable. Currently MPD houses its patrol horses in Racine County; having them at a centralized location will reduce the transportation time to Milwaukee neighborhoods and stress on the horses.
The MPD will increase the number of mounted patrol horses from eight to twelve, allowing MPD to manage two shifts. Daytime shifts will focus on community interaction with evening officers providing crowd and patrol services.
Community Outreach is an important goal of MPD. 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 build positive relationships with the members of the community. The MKE Urban Stables will be that space.
Equine-Assisted Therapy helps people with emotional disabilities, such as PTSD and anxiety. With a primary goal of treating trauma, Milwaukee Urban Stables will focus on equine-assisted therapy. In equine-assisted therapy, a person may ride the horse or simply work with the horse from the ground, such as grooming or feeding it. Often, they are accompanied by a mental health and/or horse professional. In the early stages of the program treatment will be focused on veterans and students from selected MPS schools.
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: 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.
Project Timeline: Construction of the Stables facility is planned to start in March 2019, with the Stables anticipated to open in early 2020.
Volunteer Opportunities: Rotarians will be able to 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.
The health of the horses will be monitored through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine.