Milwaukee Co. Parks wants Pokémon GO creators to get permit for Lake Park

Posted at 7:13 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 20:24:39-04

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Parks have had enough with one of the summer's biggest crazes. They want the people behind Pokémon GO to get a permit to use the app at Lake Park.

Lake Park is one of the most beautiful spots for recreation in Milwaukee, but ever since Pokémon GO came out last month, the park has been packed all day long.

"I'd say at its most, 500 to 1,000 people," said Pokémon GO player Jennifer Pauer.

The popular mobile game has attracted those of all ages trying to ‘catch ‘em all’.

“I found out this is the prime spot to be because there's water Pokémon down by the lake,” said Cade Schueller.

Along with the positives of bringing new people out to exercise, the game is blamed for many downsides.

"Sadly there's a lot of cigarette butts," said Lincoln Sankovitz.

"Candy wrappers and bottles, I see those like along the pathway," added Donny Jones.

While littering and vandalism has gone down thanks to several trash cans since the game came out, neighbors have other issues.

"Parking, I mean you're miles away," said Pauer. 

Their concerns have caused Milwaukee County Parks to go right to the source.

“We're not trying to remove them, we want to play with them," said Parks Director John Dargle. 

Dargle sent a letter to the app's creator, Niantic Inc., last week, saying in part, “This letter is provided to notify you of the Milwaukee County parks' policy related to virtual geocaches and to require your immediate compliance with that policy, which includes prior written permission before placement of a virtual geocache in any Milwaukee County park." 

"Just to do a permit, allow us to know where the cache spots are,” Dargle further explained.

Dargle wants Niantic to get permission before placing the games' characters inside the park.

"I get it, if I worked hard and had a half million dollar house, I don't know if I would like the traffic around my house as well, but there's got to be a happy medium," said Pauer.

Despite Dargle’s efforts, some fear Pokémon GO will become Pokémon no if the app creator shuts the game off in the park to comply.

"I would be really sad because this is a nice park to be in," said Schueller.

Dargle says he hasn't heard back from Niantic Inc. He says the parks’ department plans to keep pushing to find middle ground.