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 was critical to its successful completion in 2020.
MKE Urban Stables now provides 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 houses 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., operates 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 has several pressing needs addressed by the Stable. Prior to the Stable MPD housed its patrol horses in Racine County; having them at a centralized location now reduces 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 Stables provide MPD a space with an approachable atmosphere for building relationships—a place where MPD can build positive relationships with the members of the community.
Equine-Assisted Therapy helps people with emotional disabilities, such as PTSD and anxiety. With a primary goal of treating trauma, Milwaukee Urban Stables also focuses 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.
On July 27th 2021, we hosted a celebratory toast at the MKE Urban Stables to honor its completion in 2020. COVID had kept the public reveal delayed in 2020, but our members were finally able to get a first hand look of seeing the completed project in its entirety.
The Stables currently is home to the MPD Mounted Patrol, and is in the progress of bringing in more horses for equine-assisted therapy.
We are so happy to see this project through despite COVID related delays. Thank you again to our donors, Rotary members and the MPD Mounted Patrol for being able to complete this wonderful community-focused facility.
Address: 143 E Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207 on four acres donated by the city.
Project Cost: The 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.
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.