In 2011, after major storm damage to the roofing and other structural elements of the Southport Beach House, the City of Kenosha began a public hearing process to ascertain the community’s vision for the future of Southport Park and the historic beach house in order to guide design, planning, and investment in the park. In 2013 the Common Council amended the Kenosha Comprehensive Plan, adopting a Master Plan for Southport Park.
The Southport Park Master Plan (SPMP) envisions improvements to the historic beach house and park landscape. It calls for a public-private partnership between the City of Kenosha and the citizens of Kenosha, working jointly to realize this vision. Over the past decade local historic preservationists have worked with the City of Kenosha , encouraging repairs to the damaged exterior surfaces, installation of historically appropriate replacement windows, remediation of structural damage; as well as upgrades to the slate roofing.
The Southport Park Association was established in 2014 , as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, in order to formally engage local citizens and to develop private support for improvements throughout the park.
The City of Kenosha and the Southport Park Association entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2017, formalizing the public-private partnership envisioned in the Master Plan.
We extend our deepest appreciation to Kenosha residents, public officials and staff, and our generous donors for their ongoing support of the Southport Park Association.
Special thanks are owed to the Southport Beach House Commission:
Chairman Steve G. Bostrom, George W. Clarke, Margaret Heller, Barbara J. Stein-Lendman, Robert Merletti, James J. Mosley, Michael J. Thomey, and Joan Wilk.
We are indebted to Susan Andrea-Schlenker, Linda J. Sarli, Jeffrey A. Smith, Terry Schlenker, Kathryn Andrea, and David Andrea;
who graciously served as the founding Southport Park Association Board of Directors, for their vision and perseverance.
The Southport Park Association is honored to consider the Fund For Lake Michigan as one of our major community partners. The mission of the Fund For Lake Michigan is to help sustain the lake on behalf of the people and places that depend on it. Their goal is to have a deep positive impact on the health of Lake Michigan and the communities of Wisconsin by providing funding for projects that address the water quality of Lake Michigan, shoreline erosion and habitat destruction. They invest in initiatives that will have long-term benefits to the plants, animals and people of Wisconsin.
In 2021 The Southport Park Association received a grant of $87.000. The amount awarded will be used to develop detailed engineering specifications for the storm water drainage system in the Southport Beach House and the design of a detailed landscape plan to mitigate watershed pollution along the coast of Southport Park. These plans are Phase 1 of the Southport Park Watershed Rejuvenation Project.
The project looks to move beyond the restoration of the Historic Beach House to needed improvements to the shoreline and landscape. These improvements will address pollution runoff associated with storm water, erosion, habitat restoration and park accessibility. Landscape plans for the future of the park include a naturalistic prairie garden, improved walking and cycling pathways, upgraded signage, and expansion of ADA accessibility