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Virginia Small

Virginia Small is a lifelong writer, dating back to a three-year journalism program at Milwaukee’s Pius XI High and summer journalism program at UW-Madison. She has served as a senior editor for a national magazine, a staff reporter and cultural reviewer for several newspapers and a freelance contributor to many national and regional publications, including the Tampa Bay Times. She was the director of public relations for Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota for 13 years. The St. Petersburg Times published her lengthy profile of a former POW in Vietnam.

Virginia began studying the history of landscape design 20-some years ago and has written extensively about it, including a book titled Great Gardens of the Berkshires. She recently returned to Milwaukee and has focused her research and writing on topics relating to public policy, urban planning, parks issues and Wisconsin’s rich landscape and conservation history. She also volunteers for numerous organizations, including Lake Park Friends and Milwaukee Film, and as a writing teacher for the Dominican Center in Amani. Over the years, she has conducted many workshops on writing and creativity and especially enjoys assisting people in telling their own stories.

Small urban parks, sometimes the size of one or two housing lots, often serve diverse community needs, including as play spaces. These “pocket parks” or “vest-pocket parks” as they are colloquially termed are becoming more popular. more

News Features

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Photo credit: Milwaukee County Parks' Facebook Page

It’s long been a truism that Milwaukee County residents love their historic parks. Nonetheless, continual defunding for three decades has left much of the county’s parks frayed and even derelict. more

News Features 3 Comments

Milwaukee County Parks is recognized nationally as a trail-blazing park system that extended the concept of a network of linked parks and parkways throughout a county, not just a city. more

News Features

The future of the Mitchell Park Domes is at stake. The public has an opportunity to express its ideas and opinions about various county proposals on Tuesday, June 26 in the lobby of the Mitchell Park Domes. more

News Features 4 Comments

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Milwaukee Rugby Football Club (MRFC), the city’s first rugby organization, was founded in 1968. Off the Cuff interviews MRFC veteran Jay Stemper about the organization’s history and current activity. more

Off the Cuff

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Photo Credit: Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market Facebook Page

A recent decision by Milwaukee County officials to oust the weekly Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market from the Mitchell Park Domes Greenhouse Annex remains unresolved. The community-serving economic generator averaged nearly 1,800 visitors at ... more

News Features 5 Comments

Milwaukee County Parks’ officials abruptly announced they would not renew the popular market’s lease in March without consulting with market staff. more

Daily Dose

The farmers market’s ouster from the Domes Annex will be addressed at the next Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Parks, Energy & Environment Committee meeting. more

Daily Dose

Despite Milwaukee County’s long-standing Anti-Secrecy Policy, County Executive Chris Abele and his administrators often operate in the shadows; indeed, four county committees addressing parks issues, convened since 2016 by Abele or his ... more

News Features 2 Comments

Wisconsin’s cornerstones of clean government are its open meetings and public records laws, which mandate how governmental entities must operate “in the sunshine” rather than in back rooms and through sweetheart deals. more

News Features 1 Comments

Despite its popularity, organizers of the Milwaukee’s Winter Farmers Market at the Mitchell Park Domes Annex were abruptly informed last month that the market’s lease would not be renewed at the domes annex. more

News Features 6 Comments

Preserving waterways and woodlands as public spaces has been positive for the region’s overall ecology as well as the people who enjoy the parks. more

A&E Feature

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Photo credit: Chris Abele for Milwaukee County Executive Facebook Page

A bill to drastically increase Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s power and decrease the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors’ jurisdiction drew much opposition and limited support at a recent state legislative hearing. more

News Features 4 Comments

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Photo credit: Troye Fox / UWM Photo

Last week’s meeting at the Mitchell Park Domes about parking meters in Milwaukee County parks revealed an overwhelming rejection of County Executive Chris Abele’s plan to impose another “revenue stream.” more

News Features 3 Comments

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Photo credit: Milwaukee County Parks

Metro Milwaukee’s time-honored heritage of free and inclusively accessible parks is on the fast track to ending. more

News Features 6 Comments

A “work group” of county officials and members of the business and nonprofit community have identified 40 “potentially viable locations” for parking meters in parks. Most of the county’s lakefront and other popular parks are targeted. more

News Features 7 Comments

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Photo credit: Jeff Kramer

Milwaukee County plans to install parking meters in many of its landmark parks, raising questions about public access as well as the need to raise revenue to maintain the park system. more

News Features 3 Comments

Should Downtown Milwaukee’s Pere Marquette Park have a beer garden or not? The debate is on regarding how best to use this rare, little, urban green space. more

News Features

Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District, describes how the MMSD’s operations increasingly involve “green infrastructure"—wide-ranging, sustainable solutions undertaken to promote better overall wa... more

News Features 5 Comments

ReciproCITY has initiated many community-based projects that relate to cultural history, urban agriculture, curbing violence and promoting community growth, harmony and awareness. more

News Features

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