Friends Of Lakeshore State Park Will Present Design Plans For A New Visitor And Education Center Along With Lakefront Gateway Project Open House

Milwaukee, WI – April 15, 2015: In honor of Earth Week and John Muir, “Father of the National Park System” born April 21, 1838, the Friends of Lakeshore State Park Board of Directors invite the public to attend an Open House on Tuesday, April 21 from 4-7pm in the Miller Room at O’Donnell Park, 910 E. Michigan St. for the public introduction of a design study by The Kubala Washatko Architects for a new Visitor and Education Center on Lakeshore State Park. Join the board members to view the design features, discuss the project, and plan for the future.

Lakeshore State Park was dedicated in June 2007 as the first and only urban state park in the Wisconsin state park system. This proposed Visitor and Education Center with an Outdoor Plaza will be the gateway to the state parks system. Positioned between downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan, the Center will serve as a hub for education and social activities with emphasis on appreciating natural resources, experiencing nature, and learning about environmental stewardship.

The facilities will:

• Meet transient boater needs with 24-hour secure access to restrooms and shower facilities

• Meet general visitor needs for access to public restrooms that are currently unavailable on the Park grounds

• Provide indoor multi-purpose space for education and other meeting activities

• Provide an outdoor plaza, featuring a double-sided fireplace for large and small events

• Showcase the building and plaza as sustainable demonstrations of the Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge is an international building certification program created by the International Living Future Institute. More rigorous and wide-ranging than green certification programs such as LEED, the Living Building Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty.

When completed, the Lakeshore State Park Visitor and Education Center will set new standards for sustainability. Key project goals include ‘Net Positive’ Energy and Water use, engineered wetland and on-site rainwater harvesting, rigorous adherence to ‘Red-List’ approved and locally-sourced construction materials, along with other innovative requirements such as the integration of ‘urban agriculture’ into the site.

The LSP Board of Directors and Friends Group members look forward to your enthusiasm, support, and help in spreading the word to others about the project. By volunteering and making a donation you can help make this dream a reality. The signature bridge in the park can lead to a new Center of ideas and learning opportunities for future generations.


Lakeshore State Park is located on Lake Michigan by the shores of Summerfest and Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin.  It is almost completely surrounded by water and connects to Urban Park via the beautiful Lakeshore State Park bridge.

THE PARK, formerly known as Harbor Island, is the only urban state park in Wisconsin and is designed to provide an urban oasis with recreational opportunities and outdoor educational programs.

The 22-acre park includes a 1.7 mile trail that connects to the Hank Aaron and Oak Leaf state trails; a watercraft beach area with access for canoes, paddleboats and kayaks; fishing areas and 20 boat slips for vessels up to 60 feet in length with overnight boat camping available.  A bridge connects the north end of the park to the Summerfest grounds and an extension of the land near the Marcus Amphitheater connects the south end.

major Awards Won

·President’s Award of Excellence—General Design
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Wisconsin Chapter

·Mayor's Award for Spaces and Places
City of Milwaukee

·Engineering Achievement Award
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Wisconsin Section

·Paul Waterbury Award for Outdoor Lighting, International Illumination  Design Awards (IIDA)
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), Madison
and Milwaukee Chapters

·Merit Award, Park Section Design
Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association

·Best Integrated Design Application
iLight Technologies

·Excellence in Engineering
Wisconsin Division of State Facilities

·Park Manager of the Year Award - Tom Kroeger
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
·Affinity Card Naturalist Grant Award 
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 

 ·Eco Champions  Rock the Green 

 ·Every Day Grant Award
National Environmental Education Foundation 

View Past Lakeshore State Park Newsletters – Water’s Edge

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