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Brown Deer - Two Brown Deer residents are organizing a non-profit advocacy group that will help enhance and protect Brown Deer Park.

Rob Guilbert and Jim Farmer are creating a new Friends of Brown Deer Park organization to make up for budget cuts in the Milwaukee County Parks department. Guilbert said the non-profit friends group could eliminate invasive plant species, pick up trash, raise funds and plan activities, such as the return of the park's ice skating rink in the winter months.

Friends groups are active in other nearby parks, such as Estabrook, Lincoln and Kletzsch Parks. The Friends of Brown Deer Park organization will work in cooperation with the Park People of Milwaukee County.

Everyone interested in joining the organization is invited to attend the first meeting, which will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the boat house by the park's lagoon. This launch meeting will include an overview of options and potential activities as well as the selection of a small steering committee.

Leading the meeting will be Jim Goulee, executive director of the Park People, and Eddie Santiago, deputy regional manager of Milwaukee County Parks.

“Brown Deer Park, and all our parks, need community support now more than ever,” Goulee said. “Our parks are showing the signs of over 20 years of budget cuts. Staffing and facility maintenance are at an all-time low.  Your commitment to become an integral part of a Friends Group will not only be of benefit to your park, it will benefit you as a person and your community as well.”

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