Village of Hartland — The village's Environmental Corridor and Open Spaces Task Force is seeking ways to involve the community in efforts to clean up public-owned green spaces.

The task force held its first meeting in July and has since been visiting parks and green space in the village to identify problem areas and ways to improve the park experience for visitors, according to director of public works Michael Einweck.

The organization wants to work with business owners near Hartbrook Park, who can sponsor and clean up areas of the park and get their business name displayed on that section of park, Einweck said. The task force also has considered working with Hartland North Elementary School students, who can participate in educational service at parks.

“Probably the biggest thing is an educational and awareness for the community of all these resources that the village has,” Einweck said. “I think it's been really wonderful for the task force members what they're bringing to the table and the suggestions they're making.”

The task force was created after Paul Mozina of Milwaukee came to the village board in 2015 seeking to create a committee that would recommend steps the village board could take to improve the natural habitats within its borders. The board agreed to create the task force and provided $10,000 in "seed money" to fund projects.

Mozina resigned in June, saying the village board was not upfront about giving two land parcels the village had purchased for $415,487 to developer J.D. McCormick for the Riverwalk development in downtown Hartland. The volunteer task force is now led by Chairman David deCourcy-Bower, a Hartland resident.

The task force is still in a discovery stage with members surveying two parks a month to locate issues. The group is first surveying park space but will move onto village-owned green space and green space that is in privately and publicly owned land, Einweck said.

The Environmental Corridor and Open Spaces Task Force has a year to complete its work but can seek an extension from the village board if necessary, Einweck said.

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