Milwaukee boulevards vandalized, flower bed irrigation systems stolen

The Department of Public Works says close to a hundred irrigation systems within the boulevards have been stolen, vandalized or tampered with since the end of 2021.

It might not be the right time of year to show off the beauty at the center of some Milwaukee streets, but when it’s in full bloom—these boulevards are the pride of places like Sherman Park.

"You see color, you see well-intentional planting done," said Mabel Lamb of the Sherman Park Community Association. "The lower plants, the upper plants, the cannas, just a variety of foliage that’s beautiful for residents."

Photo: Department of Public Works

Recently, something ugly has been popping at boulevards across Milwaukee.

"It’s very frustrating and upsetting because this affects the whole community," said Randy Krouse. He is the manager of Forestry Services for the Department of Public Works.

Close to a hundred irrigation systems have been tampered with, vandalized or parts stolen.

"That’s inoperable now, based on the theft of the irrigation parts," said Krouse.

Photo: Department of Public Works

He isn't sure why the irrigation systems are being targeted or an exact cost of replacing them--but the impact could be seen throughout the city.

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"There could be some flower beds that don’t get planted this upcoming season or there’ll be delays in flower planting," he said.

Milwaukee police are now investigating.

Trying to put a stop to the destruction so, when the city thaws out, it can start to shine.

"The medians mean a lot to us because they’re part of the beautification of our neighborhood," said Lamb.

DPW says systems like this are being targeted.

They can’t figure out why or who is doing it.

It could mean some flowers don’t get planted this season.

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