MILWAUKEE — Just days after a Milwaukee park was destroyed by fire, crews are cleaning it up to prepare for the future.
Butterfly Park, near 37th and Meinecke Avenue, went up in flames after at least two teens allegedly set it on fire.
Wednesday, the park was filled with sparks from saws cutting through the charred remains. DPW crews were working feverishly to clear the area of dangerous debris. But as the trashed playground equipment is tossed away, so are the memories of the people in the neighborhood who have enjoyed the park for years.
"My childhood memories and my baby's memories," Alihya Johnson said. "It's all destroyed now."
The fire at the park drew people from many blocks away over the weekend. Black, billowing smoke filled the sky from an area people have grown to love. Butterfly Park is a safe place to take their kids to have fun.
"She loved to ride the little slides," Georgia Jackson said about her 3-year-old granddaughter. "It's just terrible."
Even the parents with kids too old to enjoy the park hate to see what happened because of two kids causing trouble.
"That was very selfish," Jasmine Clarkson said. "This is a neighborhood park, a community park. This wasn't just for the kids who did it. Now you messed it up for the other little kids who want to play and enjoy themselves here."
The Department of Public Works said the 2019-2020 budget is already committed to other planned projects. However, if new funding comes in, they could start to rebuild the park as soon as 2020. However, they plan on rebuilding the park whenever funds become available.