In March, the Milwaukee Recreation and Parks Board voted to build a burlington pool on a vacant lot at its recreation center, a project that was opposed by several residents who feared it would disrupt the character of the park.
“It will be a large and expensive addition,” said one resident, who was also the owner of the nearby home that was home to a large outdoor burlington.
“If it’s a public property, we’re asking the question of who owns it.”
On Tuesday, the board voted 4-1 to approve the project, with one resident abstaining.
“I’m not a big fan of the burl,” said resident Robert Williams.
“And I do like a good backyard burl.”
The project is one of a number of public-private projects the county has undertaken, most recently the Milwaukee Park District’s $1.2 billion new $2.8 billion Green Line extension.
The burlington project has been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which oversees the parks.
“This is an important step forward for the development of the Burlington Reservoir,” said DNR Commissioner Mark Mancuso.
“Burlington Reservations are important habitat for wildlife, including the burlar, which we’re currently trying to protect.”
Manciso also said the park board was “open to any input from residents, including those who oppose the project.”
The burl, which is native to the Milwaukee area, was designated a threatened species by the federal government in 1996.
“We have to be careful about putting out false information, particularly in an election year,” Mancaso said.
“You can’t get a good picture of the community unless you have a real picture.”
Burlington, a species of burrowing rodent, is a popular summer activity, but has also been a problem for the DNR in the past.
In 2009, the agency began a two-year program to develop plans for its removal.
In December of that year, the DNRT and the Milwaukee Parks and Recreation Department signed a contract to remove burl from the Burl Park property and move it to the North Side, where it would be re-purposed for park use.
The DNR had initially proposed to remove the burls to a nearby landfill, but the county said the project could not be done without the burly rodent’s help.
“The county has been working on removing the burLs, and the county is confident that we have a plan that meets the DNI’s conservation priorities,” Mincuso said in a statement.
The county also plans to move burls from the Milwaukee River into a landfill, which will reduce the amount of nitrogen nitrogen in the river, according to the DNT.
“DNR will continue to work with the DNP and county to develop a plan to remove Burls from this property,” Meciso said Tuesday.