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.


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The year 2020 will be momentous for Milwaukee with the Democratic National Convention happening in summer. So, as we ring in the new year, how can we gear up for our unprecedented civic close-up? Read more

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Photo credit: Dave Zylstra

The future looks promising for a landscape that has been valued by Milwaukee County residents since the 19th century. Read more

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Controversial proposition for major renovations of the Milwaukee River Parkway could destroy the historic integrity of Kletzsch Park and damage its natural ecology. Read more

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A visionary scholar offers suggestions for fostering full belonging. Read more

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Photo credit: Dave Zylstra

After getting Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognized, they also witnessed renaming of a Milwaukee park. Read more

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An ambitious new plan to restore and revitalize the Mitchell Park Domes and their surrounding public park aims to enhance Milwaukee’s efforts to be a green city in many ways. Read more

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Milwaukee County Board to host public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, about the repair and preservation of the Domes. Read more

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Photo credit: Virginia Small

Just weeks after opening, Harbor View Plaza is making a splash as a public park. Located along Milwaukee’s inner harbor, it offers views of the urban skyline and Port of Milwaukee. Read more

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Milwaukee County opens discussion on the future of senior centers; funding issues, programming and needs that have to be addressed. Read more

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While pursuing revenue for the county, County Executive Chris Abele proposes the sale of county parks. Read more

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Analysis of the negative results of reducing Milwaukee County’s parklands. Read more

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Photo credit: Chris Abele for Milwaukee County Executive Facebook Page

While he bulldozes his home, County Executive Chris Abele has gained full power over non-park land in the county thanks to a power grab in 2015. Read more

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Next year’s convention offers an opportunity to focus on improving, and perhaps expanding, Milwaukee’s public realm. Read more

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People being poisoned by lead in their homes has recently gained widespread attention in Milwaukee. Lead toxicity is just one issue relating to what’s termed Environmental Justice. Read more

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Get educated, pitch in, take action and participate locally. Read more



Photo credit: Ben Krut

A recent audit of operations, concessions and events at the Mitchell Park Domes reveals non-standard accounting and questionable management practices among all parties ostensibly in control of the facility. Read more

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Photo credit: Lake Park Friends

Milwaukee is one of America’s most prominent cities in terms of landscaping, and it is time for Milwaukeeans to realize the value of the city’s parks. Read more

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Photo credit: Joe Karr, ca. 1970

This important public space is leased by the County of Milwaukee to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, and there should be public input before it is erased forever. Read more

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A new twist has emerged regarding prospects for the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, more commonly known as the “Domes.” Could it be merged with the Milwaukee Public Museum? Read more

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Five decades ago, songbirds were dying by the dozens, eagles were vanishing, and humans were endangered by eating fish contaminated by the pesticide DDT. Does the fight against that poison offer us still-relevant lessons? Read more

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A conversation about environmental justice, the Museum of Wisconsin Art and the demise of In Tandem and Milwaukee Public Theatre. Read more

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