By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 03, 2018 at 3:01 PM

One day after the City of Milwaukee and members of the Green Bay Packers cut the ribbon on the new Galena Park Playground at 31st and Galena, built in partnership with MKE Plays, Milwaukee Recreation has announced a groundbreaking event that will kick off renovations at a trio of Milwaukee playfields.

On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m., Milwaukee Rec, a division of Milwaukee Public Schools, which maintains 52 playfields all around the city, will break ground at Columbia Playfield, 1345 W. Columbia St., to celebrate renovations planned for Columbia, Custer and Southgate Playfields.

Work at all three is expected to be complete by next summer.

You can see renderings for Columbia here:

Renderings for Custer, 4001 W. Custer Ave., are here:

Southgate, 3350 S. 25th St., formerly called Southlawn Park, renderings are here:

The work follows a 2014 review by an outside consultant of the district’s 52 playfields that identified 65 percent of the facilities as being in fair to poor condition and suggested $25 million in necessary improvements to be completed over the next decade.

A priority list based on neighborhood population and need was then created and now work is set to begin.

"Everyone deserves a safe place to recreate and we now have an equitable way to prioritize the renovation projects and truly level the playing field in our city," said Lynn A. Greb, Milwaukee Recreation’s senior director, in a statement.

"Our first groundbreaking celebration at Columbia Playfield will be an exciting start to this journey!"

Meanwhile, Packers players, Milwaukee Police officers and volunteers worked together on Galena Playground, which is part of the MKE Plays public/private initiative to transform 13 of the city's worst playgrounds over three years.

The Milwaukee Department of Public Works maintains 64 playgrounds in the city.

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.