By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Now that NEWaukee is partnering with Northwestern Mutual to help gather community ideas for sparking life in O’Donnell Park, Milwaukeeans will get a chance to sound off on what they’d like to see happen on this prime Downtown and lakefront real estate.

At a public hearing recently, NEWaukee heard, according to a press release, "that the community wants a safe, well-maintained and attractive public space."

Sure, we all want that at every location in town. But how about more specifically? What will lure us to the site?

You can share and hear ideas at the NEWaukee Social on Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m, at O’Donnell Park. You can also submit ideas online at But in the meantime, here are some ideas to get you talking...

  • An adult swing park like this one. Not THAT kind of adult swinging; get your mind out of the gutter.
  • A European-style piazza with cafes, shops and restaurants and a central gathering spot that can serve as a meeting and mingling and hanging out spot for Downtown dwellers, workers and visitors.
  • A simple, greener park that has less concrete, but more plantings and grass for recreation and relaxation.
  • Quirkier garden spaces like the bamboo, shadow and other gardens at Paris’ Parc de la Villette.
  • A permanent home for the NEWaukee Night Market.

Share your ideas using the Talkback feature below. 

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.