Residents for Off-leash Parks (ROMP) was founded in 2002 by a group of Milwaukee area dog owners looking for green space where their dogs could run free and play safe. The group saw a need for additional dog parks in Milwaukee County. Many dog owners were driving outside of the county to use dog parks or didn’t find the location of the county’s only existing dog park, known as Granville, located on the border or Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls, convenient.
ROMP developed a strong partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks System which resulted in the opening of the Runway Dog Exercise Area (DEA), a 26 acre fenced-in dog exercise area, in Oak Creek near the airport in 2005. The Runway quickly became one of the county’s most visited parks.
In 2008, ROMP and the Milwaukee County Parks System campaigned for funds to create additional dog parks which resulted in the opening of several new dog parks. Smaller, neighborhood sized dog exercise areas were placed within three existing county parks – Currie, Estabrook and Warnimont.
Milwaukee dog parks continue to grow in popularity which resulted in the Currie DEA being expanded in 2013 from 1.5 acres to 10 acres.
In 2014, two new neighborhood dog parks opened in Bay View and Riverwest. These two smaller DEAs are designed to meet the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods and creatively turned unused land into a place where dogs can run free and play safe.