Molson Coors will announce a partnership with the Parks and Milwaukee Parks Foundation on a two-year matching campaign to raise additional funds.

Buoyed by $17 million in Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and a newly passed sales tax increase for Milwaukee County, the Parks system still faces a half billion dollars in deferred maintenance and sustainability challenges for the foreseeable future.

“We’re very thankful that a local sales tax was passed,” Milwaukee County Parks Executive Director Guy Smith told Wisconsin’s Morning News. “That’s not going to sustain.”

Smith points to the continued deferred maintenance and a staff of 300 full-time employees, which used to be 1000. He praised not only today’s announcement but the continued support of corporate partners like Molson Coors, which he says, “…has been an amazing partner for decades. They have been very generous financially as well as promotions, awareness for Parks.”

Beer Gardens in Milwaukee remain a shining example of the public parks system teaming up with local businesses to add an attraction and create a revenue generator. Smith is excited about Biggby Coffee moving into Red Arrow Park in Downtown Milwaukee and believes there’s more to do.

“Whether it’s beer gardens, whether its food vendors. There’s all kinds of ways we can work together,” he said.

Smith also acknowledged that with 153 parks and more than 15,000 acres to manage, the system could be more strategic about that: