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A multi-year, public/private partnership led by ECO's HOME GR/OWN converting a 3/5 acre City-owned vacant lot into Milwaukee's newest, most sustainable urban "town commons"



Site Construction Plan showing park layout on the site
construction plan

The Basics

Update July 2017: Construction kicked off in mid-month with Rozga Plumbing constructing the last stormwater management piece, the "street cut": we are pulling rain and precipitation directly off of Meinecke Avenue into the Fondy Park - so innovative, we think it hasn't been done in the City to date. We are getting rid of summer weeds (Walnut Way Blue Skies Landscaping)as we prepare for adding the top soil and getting to finish grade (Simon Landscaping). That is all before David J. Frank Landscaping begins construction of the hardscape paths near the end of the month.  Fabrication of the fence continues also by Frank Landscaping. Again, we thank David J. Frank himself for his extremely generous donation of the path work and the fence! Cool, custom tables are being built by local artist Ray Chi. We have picked a contractor to build the stage. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA have generously donated towards the purchase of trees for the Park as part of their new Reformation 500 project to plant 500 trees across Milwaukee! Thank you Archdiocese and the Synod!

Update June 2017: We are blessed by the recent support of both the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Their strategic investments in Fondy Park will create a more attractive neighborhood gathering spot. The vast majority of the stormwater management features have been installed as of June 6 - downspouts to the bioswale, rock trenches between downspout and bioswale, the bioswale itself (planting later), bioswale piping, wiring for Veolia/Opti bioswale remote monitoring and operation, Opti control system, install of 22,000 pound dry vault, trap manhole install, street cut for overflow. FLY OVER FONDY PARK DURING WEEK 3 CONSTRUCTION

Update May 2017:

The City and its partners have begun to build a vibrant park just west of the Fondy Farmers Market on 22nd and Fond du Lac Avenue. Our Environmental Collaboration Office HOME GR/OWN leads a partner team including: Fondy Food Center, Reflo, ReciproCITY, Energy Exchange, City Departments of Public Works and City Development, Fund for Lake Michigan, North Ave/Fondy BID #32, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning's Community Design Solutions and Mayor Barrett's Strong Neighborhoods Plan. Our primary contractors are Simon Landscaping, Rozga Plumbing, Allcon Electric and special thanks to David J. Frank Landscaping who generously donated a new custom fence and materials and installation of our hardscape paths! This site has been vacant for decades - in 2001, a cancelled warehouse project left the site with above-ground foundation walls that will be incorporated into the design.

Phase 1 will be built in 2017, installing a complete stormwater management system and a hardscaped, landscaped park. Given the size and scope of this project, it is considered to be a multi-year project from the start. Resident and stakeholder outreach and design sessions along with neighborhood surveying to solicit advice, comments and design ideas began in November and continues through February, 2017. We are simply calling it "Fondy Park".


The Location - 2200 block of W Fond du Lac Avenue, next to Fondy Market



Current state: August 2, 2017


Neighborhood Workers beautify Fondy Park
aerial Fondy Park view
Above: David J. Frank Landscape crew installing path. Table will be in-between the central trees, there will be a seeded prairie to the right of the path, with grass to the left. 
high aerial view of site
Above: View looking south. Bioswale in rectangle in upper left, stage in middle of "J" bottom of gravel path. Photo shows the 19 new trees: honey locust, pear, lilac and spruce. 



























Current state: June 6, 2017

June construction photos
rough grading dry vault
Completed bioswale before planting Grassy area in middle, path, prairie to right soon View from bioswale to dry vault (cement box)
rock trench entrance from market aerial
Rock trench diffuses downspout rainwater  View of park entrance from Market Drone aerial - June 6
trees parking lot control box aerial May 19
Trees planted by DPW & Walnut Way across street Control box for remote monitoring/control Aerial from May 19


Photos from May 19, 2017

May 19 park construction 1
May 19 park construction looking SE


2016 pre-construction photos

Top: Fondy Park site aerial

Bottom: Site street view from Fond du Lac Avenue

Site before



HOME GR/OWN asked UWM Architecture School's Community Design Solutions  ("CDS") to take the "idea" of the Fondy Park and create the initial design concepts that allowed the community to envision the potential for this vacant lot transformation into a new, community eco-park. The CDS designs drove our design, planning and budget process as we transformed their ideas into the final site construction plan shown above.

Concept sketches and preliminary site designs for this multi-year, multi-phase project.

Phase 1: Construction timing: May, 2017 - August, 2017

Phase 2: Construction timing: April, 2018 - November, 2018


concept aerial view
Aerial view showing concept plan for hardscaped walls, path and stormwater management solutions
concept st view
Concept Plan showing view from inside the park looking south
st view
Conceptual street view showing wall, path and "boxed-in" aboveground cistern (Phase 2) (far right)
fondy ne view
Concept plan showing park interior view looking north










Why this is a great site for stormwater management?

The roofs of the Fondy Market allow for plentiful rainfall collection,

The 3/5 acre site allows for a large-scale bioswale (sunken area with special soils and native plants) to absorb water.

How does this help sustainability?

Helps prevent basement flooding in the area surrounding the park

Keeps Lake Michigan cleaner by helping prevent sewerage overflows during heavy rain events

water plan



The Fondy Park will have a number of sustainability features that will help reduce local flooding, reduce the water inflow to the sewerage district's pipes during significant rain or melting events, keeping Lake Michigan cleaner.

The site will feature:

1) Gutters that collect rain off of the Fondy Market's buildings,

2) Pipes will collect water that would normally flow into a Fond du Lac Avenue storm sewer and bring it onto the site, out of the sewer system.

3) A 1,500 gallon aboveground cistern that holds rainwater for watering the park's plants,

4) A 2,500 square foot bioswale that will temporarily hold water in a meadow-like area, reducing  pressure on the sewer system during a storm,

5) Remote control of this stormwater system by Veolia/MMSD to control water inflow and outflow,

6) A Phase 2 roof-mounted solar system provided by ECO's Milwaukee Shines will provide power for the stormwater system and battery power for lighting and events requiring electricity,

7) Native perennial plantings, providing food and shelter for pollinators like bees and butterflies.



Tim McCollow
HOME GR/OWN Program Manager

(414) 286-3748

Connect with Us


Fly over Fondy Park during week 3 construction here

See what it looked like in 2016 before construction here

Fondy Park Partners


  • Fondy Food Center
  • Reflo
  • ReciproCITY
  • Energy Exchange
  • David J. Frank Landscaping
  • Zilber Neighborhood Initiative
  • Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • UWM SARUP Community Design Solutions
  • Redevelopment Authority of Milwaukee
  • City of Milwaukee Department of City Development
  • North Avenue/Fond du Lac Avenue BID #32
  • Alice's Garden
  • City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works
  • North Avenue Commercial Corridor Team
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District
  • Fund for Lake Michigan
  • Veolia Water
  • Opti
  • GZA GeoEnvironmental
  • Mayor Tom Barrett's Strong Neighborhoods Plan
  • Rozga Plumbing & Heating
  • Simon Landscaping
  • Walnut Way Blue Skies Landscaping
  • Allcon Electric
  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee
  • Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA

Fondy Park on YouTube


See a drone's-eye view of the Fondy Park site before construction




Plan a visit: While the site is fenced-in for safety reasons, please stop by and peek at the construction starting this spring on the 2200 block of Fond du Lac Avenue,

immediately west of the Fondy Farmers Market.

Fondy map