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Fondy Park

Fondy Park held its grand opening on September 16th!

The grand opening was celebrated with an event including food, music, dancing and yoga throughout the day! The park was converted from a vacant lot to a storm water park and a sustainable green space for the community. The new park features a main concert stage and ample space for community activities.

Fondy Park is a multi-year, public/private partnership led by ECO's HOME GR/OWN to convert a 3/5 acre City-owned vacant lot into Milwaukee's newest, most sustainable urban town commons.

On December 5 2017, the Milwaukee organization Local Support Initiatives Corporation (LISC) announced its Finalists for the prestigous annual MANDI Awards. Fondy Park was named a MANDI Finalist in the Brewers Community Foundation's Public Space category, along with the Riverwest 24 annual event.  More info here. HOME GR/OWN and its partners won the MANDI in this category in 2015 for our Ezekiel Gillespie Park project in Lindsay Heights.

A wonderful, new video from Fondy Food Center showcasing the Fondy Park Grand Opening & Fondy Market Centennial September 16, 2017




Fondy Park wins MMSD Green Luminary Award!


Detailed Information on Fondy Park's Sustainability Focus

Stormwater Management, Solar, and the Site's Remote Monitoring & Operations


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 entire site is permeable (absorbs water): the bioswale, path, sod and prairie. The site collects 88,000 gallons of water during a 24 hour rain event!

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, (under consideration for Phase 2)

  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, (Phase 2)

  7. Native perennial plantings, along with a seeded urban prairie, providing food and shelter for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Fondy Park Grand Opening

Fondy Park Grand Opening



The Development & Construction of Fondy Park


The Vision

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.

Phase 1: Construction timing: May, 2017 - August, 2017 (Complete October 12, 2017)

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

The Basics

Update September 2017: Construction continued primarily on the fence, stage and tables. The fence and tables look great! The stage will be mostly finished and usable for our September 16th opening. Plants and sod getting watered daily by Walnut Way's Blue Skies Landscaping. It's been dry! Trash cans and recycling being installed week of 9/9.  

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".

Fondy Park Construction Photos

Fondy Construction



Tim McCollow
HOME GR/OWN Program Manager
(414) 286-3748


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How You Can Help

Funds donated to HOME GR/OWN will be used to support City-owned vacant lot projects which coincide with the following HOME GR/OWN objectives:

  • Increase access to local, healthy food
  • Revitalizing/engaging communities

Plan a visit! Fondy Park is at 2200 block of Fond du Lac Avenue,

immediately west of the Fondy Farmers Market and just north

of North Avenue (corner of Meinecke & Fond du Lac).

Fondy map


HOME GR/OWN is now on Instagram! Follow us @homegrownmke

Fly over Fondy Park during week 3 construction here!

See what Fondy Park looked like in 2016 before construction here!

Thank You To Our 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