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, the RCM board of directors chose the Milwaukee Urban Stables as our club’s next significant contribution to the community. Here’s why:
Milwaukee Urban Stables 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 outreach and Milwaukee Police Department patrols.
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 Milwaukee Urban Stables 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.
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: $5.35 million. Public support $1.5 million and $3.35 million in private donations have been pledged.
Project Timeline: Construction is to begin the fall of 2018 with the facility to open in 2019.
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.