EDITORIAL: Claim Norris as our park

Photo by Aaron Ledesma/ aaron.ledesma@marquette.edu

Marquette University dedicated Norris Park as a recreational space for the Marquette community Tuesday.

Since 2004, Marquette Student Government and the administration worked to develop the space for students, community organizations and club and intramural sports.

Marquette just made the park area on the 1800 block of Kilbourn Avenue available to students. Some were not aware of the project until its dedication was mixed with the events preceding the Rev. Pilarz’s inauguration this week.

So why should we still be concerned about the space if the project’s taken seven years to finish?

Green space in Milwaukee is hard to come by, as many students know. Practice space for club teams, intramural sports or pick-up games is even more demanding to find, as Marquette’s Valley Fields are usually reserved for NCAA athletes.

In the past, that has forced club and intramural sports to use the green spaces around campus like the Central Mall, Schroeder Field or O’Donnell Field, none of which are specifically designated for recreational
sport use.

Students retreat to the lakefront to take advantage of the space there, for the lack of a park near campus.

But we now have our own space.

It sits among many students’ off-campus houses, easily accessible to us and the community.

We should recognize this is a public park Marquette is leasing from the city. Milwaukee organizations will also be able to use the space with students and teams.

However, this should not be seen as simply taking space away from students. Area residents rightly have the ability to access the park, when feasible. It is parks like this that keep youth occupied, off the streets and engaged. In the sentiment of our kindergarten teachers, we can share.

We should all take full advantage of Norris Park. It’s that simple.

The university and MUSG put a large amount of time and money into this project. If they did not find it worth the effort, they would have passed it over almost a decade ago.

We often fail take advantage of areas available to us as Marquette students. Do not let this be one of them.

Don’t let Norris Park become another empty lot in Milwaukee.