Who Are We?

Milwaukee County Parks (MCP) has a storied history of providing access to pools, beaches and other aquatics facilities, complete with a talented Lifeguard Corps for 75+ years. Today, MCP is at an inflection point, navigating a persistent lifeguard shortage that was intensified through the pandemic.

Recruiting, developing, and retaining high-quality lifeguards is a core challenge to the sustainability of aquatics at Milwaukee County Parks. Without affordable and safe access to pools and beaches, Milwaukee County’s swimming ability gap will continue to grow with lethal consequences — especially for children in our most vulnerable communities.

If Milwaukee seeks to be a “water city,” access to water and swimming cannot be a privilege.

Meet Aquatics Ambassadors MKE

Milwaukee Parks Foundation (MPF) and MCP partnered in 2023 to launch Aquatics Ambassadors MKE, a diverse, intergenerational group with deep connections to swimming, water and/or lifeguarding. Current members include everyone from lifelong water lovers to enthusiastic new swimmers, professional athletes to water professionals.

Aquatics Ambassadors meet regularly, offering valuable perspective and energy as MCP develops creative approaches to cultivate a new generation of swimmers and lifeguards. Our work includes:

  • Supporting Milwaukee County Parks’ lifeguard recruitment by providing input to the process and amplifying the call in community venues, networks and organizations
  • Developing creative and community-informed approaches to invite Milwaukee County, especially BIPOC communities, to break  patterns, engage with water and level up swimming
  • Cultivating relationships with organizations from the local, regional and national swimming community, better connecting aquatics resources within Milwaukee County.

To support this work, Milwaukee Parks Foundation also raised funds to support a new full time Aquatics staff position at Milwaukee County Parks that will increase capacity for community outreach and lifeguard development.

Aquatics Ambassadors MKE was made possible by generous support from Dr. Geoff Mykleby and we are committed to honoring his legacy by sharing his passion for swimming and aquatics.

Apply to Be a Lifeguard

Without you, our community will have limited access to pools and swim lessons.
Start training now to be a lifeguard. Do some good, have fun, get paid! What are you waiting for? Apply now!