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Vacant Lot Challenge


Vacant Lot Challenge logo

Vibrant public spaces connect us to our community and to each other. Submit your best ideas for creating, improving and activating a vacant lot and you could win a $10,000 reimbursable grant.

  • art park
  • natural landscape
  • walking path
  • stromwater management
  • terraced garden
  • park space
  • playground
  • food hub
  • community garden
  • performance space
  • meditation space
  • veggie gardens



Milwaukee Promise Zones and Eligible Properties

Please note that the UWM CDS Workshops below are one-on-one design sessions. Individuals or teams must sign up online to reserve one of only six available sessions per date/location.

 

Aldermanic District 1
(Old North Milwaukee)

  • 4564 N. 26th Street
  • 4502 N. 27th Street - corner lot
  • 5545 N. 38th Street

Pick a time slot from one of the UWM CDS Workshop sessions below and sign up online to reserve your spot.


8/4/2015
6:00 PM to 6:45 PM  OR  6:45 PM to 7:30 PM
Villard Square Library, 5190 N. 35th Street
Please ask for the Librarian-In-Charge when you arrive.


 

 

Aldermanic District 6
(Harambee/North Division)

  • 3032-36 N. 19th Street
  • 3119-27 N. 9th Street
  • 3138-44 N. 9th Street

Pick a time slot from one of the UWM CDS Workshop sessions below and sign up online to reserve your spot.

8/5/2015
6:00 PM to 6:45 PM  OR  6:45 PM to 7:30 PM
Ameritech King Commerce Center,
2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
Please ask for Julia Taylor 264-5000 in room 203


 

 

Aldermanic Distirct 12
(Near South Side)

  • 1335 W. Becher Street
  • 1551 W. Grant Street
  • 1009 S. 17th Street

Pick a time slot from one of the UWM CDS Workshop sessions below and sign up online to reserve your spot.

8/3/2015
6:00 PM to 6:45 PM  OR  6:45 PM to 7:30 PM
Forest Home Library, Community Room,
1432 W. Forest Home Avenue
Please ask for the Librarian-In-Charge when you arrive.


 

 

Aldermanic District 15
(Washington Park)

  • 1947 N. 36th Street
  • 3522 W. Galena Street
  • 2201 N. 40th Street

Pick a time slot from one of the UWM CDS Workshop sessions below and sign up online to reserve your spot.

8/6/2015
6:00 PM to 6:45 PM  OR  6:45 PM to 7:30 PM
United Methodist Children’s Services,
3910 W. Lisbon Ave.
Please ask for Bess Earl 344-1818


 

 

Applications are no longer being accepted. Stay tuned for updates on winning projects!


Community Improvement Project grants are available up to $4,000 from NIDC.

 


 

How to Apply

Applications should be completed, printed and submitted (along with supporting documentation) by mail (postmarked by Aug. 14, 2015) or in person (Aug. 14 by 4pm) to:

Attention: Vacant Lot Challenge
City of Milwaukee, Department of Public Works
841 N. Broadway Room 618, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Questions or assistance on applying should be emailed in writing to: strong@milwaukee.gov





Overview

Sponsored by Mayor Tom Barrett and Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, the Vacant Lot Challenge is a pilot project which will showcase creative ideas and strategies for transforming Milwaukee’s vacant land into an asset that contributes to a community need.

The Vacant Lot Challenge will focus its efforts in the Milwaukee Promise Zones. There are four Promise Zone neighborhoods and the objective is to fund a project in each zone. The Promise Zones are targeted in Aldermanic District 1 (Old North Milwaukee), District 6 (Harambee/North Division), District 12 (Near South Side), and District 15 (Washington Park). See maps, lists of eligible properties and timelines for each zone  at left.

How It Works

A key component of the Vacant Lot Challenge is resident involvement. Teams should be formed of residents, community based organization, local businesses, or other legal entities.

Teams will compete for the opportunity to demonstrate their ideas at the scale of no more than two connected vacant lots.

Strategies should engage residents and address a community need such as: food systems, art, community space, economic development, education, and storm water retention.

Eligibility

Teams must include neighborhood residents and at least one legal entity. Team registrants must be 18 years of age or older and able to enter into a legal agreement. Only one entry per team will be accepted.

This is an open call for projects: Resident teams, community groups, for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations are all encouraged to enter. The competition sponsors encourage multidisciplinary teams in order to promote the most creative solutions to the issues of vacancy. Members could include architects, landscape architects, urban planners, sculptors, engineers, ecologists, horticulturists, gardeners, hydrologists, historians, artists, etc.

Selection Criteria

Successful projects will be responsive to the unique context of each lot, as well as the neighborhood context. Competition judges will be looking for:

  • Creative ideas and solutions that address a community need
  • Combining different ideas to address multiple needs or concerns
  • Response to unique site characteristics and local community context
  • Connections to other existing neighborhood activity and programs

Things To Know

Project teams will need to submit a detailed project proposal, including site plans, project budget and an ongoing maintenance and monitoring plan.

  • Teams must select one of the pre-identified sites located within the Promise Zones.
  • Winning teams can receive up to a $10,000 grant for project implementation. Matching funds are not required, but are highly encouraged.
  • Project grant funds are reimbursable and must be funded upfront by applicants. With advanced approval, interim reimbursements can be submitted to help with project cash flow. This should be requested in the application.
  • Only expenses on or after the date of project approval will be considered eligible project expenses.
  • If project requires professional services or installation, the City will require written estimates/bids for proposed work costing $1,000 or more. Use of local professionals/contractors is highly encouraged.
  • Grant will not reimburse for purchase of equipment, power tools, food or entertainment. Salaries/benefits/overhead are not eligible project costs.
  • Projects should be temporary in nature and should not involve a difficult to remove physical structure.
  • Project awards will require a minimum two-year vacant lot maintenance agreement.

Workshop

UWM Community Design Solutions will assist teams in developing a design vision for their selected site and provide design sketches that the participants can take with them at the end of the session. Workshops with time slots of 45 minutes each will be held at no cost to competing teams. Pick a time slot in your area from one of the sessions at left and sign up online to reserve your spot.

 

Resources

City of Milwaukee Vacant Lot Handbook
www.milwaukee.gov/VacantLotHandbook

City of Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability www.refreshmke.com

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
www.mmsd.com/gi/green-infrastructure

Walnut Way Conservation Corp. www.walnutway.org

Groundwork Milwaukee
www.groundworkmke.org