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HOME GR/OWN Pocket Park
Ezekiel Gillespie Park at 14th & Wright

Honoring Milwaukee's History & Helping Sustain Its Future

Ezekiel Gillespie (1818 - March 31, 1892) was an African-American civil rights and community leader who won a landmark case securing voting rights in Wisconsin and initiated Wisconsin’s first African Methodist Episcopal church. Mayor Tom Barrett's HOME GR/OWN Initiative pays tribute to the legacy of Ezekiel Gillespie by collaborating with community partners to re-purpose vacant land into an attractive and environmentally sustainable park for neighborhood residents.


  • Groundbreaking: May 22, 2014
  • Construction: Summer 2
  • Anticipated Opening: Fall 2014

Sustainable and Green Features: 

  • Porous Pavers: Absorbs rain water, instead of repelling it
  • Underground Rain Water Storage: Stores fallen rain water to be used to water plants of the park
  • Fruit Trees & Bushes: Healthy, local food

Site Design:
















Mayor Barrett speaks about the history of Ezekiel Gillespie and the importance of the pocket park.




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