Ezekiel Gillespie Park

Neighborhood Green Spaces

ECO supports neighborhood redevelopment and increasing residents' quality of life through the ongoing maintenance and stewardship of green spaces and commercial corridors in collaboration with the community. Past projects have, with the help of community partners, reinvigorated blighted vacant lots into green community spaces and assets including pocket parks, orchards, community gardens, and an urban farm. The Neighborhood Investment Beautification Fund has also supported beautification, neighborhood branding, signage, greenscaping, trash cleanup, and art projects across Milwaukee. 


ECO and its partners developed 8 pocket parks and 14 orchards throughout the City’s north side neighborhoods through the HOME GR/OWN Program. The first park created was Ezekiel Gillespie Park, located in Lindsay Heights, Milwaukee’s first ECO Neighborhood. It won several awards in 2015: LISC MANDI “Best Public Space,” a Mayor’s Design Award, and SXSW ECO Place By Design Competition. Many of these sites were designed and are maintained by community partners.

Green spaces serve as hubs for community events, healthy food access, environmental education, and green job growth. Most of the green spaces also incorporate stormwater management features that help reduce the risk of flooding in the surrounding areas, like rainwater storage, porous pavers, fruit trees, and rain and native gardens. Currently, the City is focused on ensuring the sites are well-maintained and continue to act as spaces where community care and environmental stewardship can grow side-by-side. Many of these green spaces are open to the public for community gatherings with a Special Event Permit.


The Wonder of Life Mural

30th St. Corridor - 2876 N. 32nd St.

The Wonder of Life Mural with Artist Tia Richardson

Completed: 2021 

The 700-square-foot mural was created by artist Tia Richardson of Cosmic Butterfly Design on a retaining wall near the railroad overpass crossing over N. Fond du Lac Ave. at W. Locust St. The piece was commissioned by the City to celebrate nature as part of a caring and prosperous community.


Our Devotion to the Ocean Mural

Villard Ave. Corridor - 5268 35th St.

Our Devotion to the Ocean MuralCompleted: 2020 

The five-mural series was created through the Villard BID's Public Art Project initiative by Walkers Point Tattoo Company artist Chacho Lopez. It's part of the Environmental Conservation Wall at Carter's Christian Academy and features sea animals classified as endangered.


Greenfield Bridge Mural

Harbor District - 224 Greenfield Ave.

Greenfield Bridge Mural

Completed: 2017  

The bridge mural painted by artist Nova Czarnecki is the gateway to the Harbor District. The mural showcases many of the native species—birds, fish, and other wildlife—still found in the area. It also depicts a young person as hope for continued environmental imporvement for future generations.


Galst Food Market Facade

Lindsay Heights - 1622 W. North Ave.

GALST Food Market

Completed: 2019

External improvements were made to enhance the appearance of the grocery store for patrons and residents using facade grants. This store was one of several that received funding, including Rainbow Foods, Columbia Savings and Loan, Mobil Lube, and Auto Parts.


  • New signage
  • Food mural
  • New awning

Green Corridor 

Garden District - S. 6th St. 

Garden District Sign and Solar Flower

Completed: 2011 

This 3-mile stretch from Howard to College Ave. was named the Green Corridor as a bold showcase for sustainability, innovation, and beautification. The Green Corridor includes Business Improvement District #40.


  • Farmers market, greenhouses
  • Orchards, community gardens
  • Solar flower, composting
  • Bioswales, permeable pavement

Harbor View Plaza

Harbor District - 600 Greenfield Ave.

Harbor View Plaza with people

Completed: 2019 

Located near the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences, the plaza is a waterfront public park in the Harbor District. The plaza is the first of a continuous network of Riverwalk and waterfront parks on the western shore of the district.


  • Play structure and water feature
  • Public canoe/kayak launch
  • Dock


KGMB Mobile Tool Shed

Citywide - Mobile Trailer

Keep Greater Milwaukee Clean Up Trailer

Purchased: 2019  

The Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful Mobile Tool Shed offers landscaping equipment to support neighborhood groups organizing 40+ participant community cleanups.



  • Pickers, rakes, shovels, buckets
  • Garbage bags, plastic gloves
  • Various other suppplies

North Avenue Streetscaping

Lindsay Heights - North Ave. Corridor

Greenscaping on 11th and North Ave.

Completed: 2019

A variety of improvements were made on North Ave. from 11th-22nd St. to improve the asthetics of the area, improve stromwater management, and enhance the community.


  • Greenscaping, bioswale
  • Hanging flower baskets
  • MKE Big Clean litter cans 
  • Facade improvements

On the Mill/Cream City Boxing

Graceland - 5132 W. Mill Rd.

Cream City Boxing On the Mill

Completed: 2019

Landscaping improvements were made to the parking lot to provide greenery and compliment the colorful mural on the building. The improvement won a 2022 Mayor’s Design Award for its efforts.


  • Landscaping
  • Vegetation


These spaces are currently owned by the City of Milwaukee and cared for by ECO in collaboration with community partners.

Adams Park

Harambee - 3760 N. 2nd St.

Adams Park

Completed: 2015   |   Partners: Department of City Development and Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation

Adams Park was designed through neighborhood workshops by the UWM School of Architecture & Urban Planning to catalyze positive, healthy gatherings, programs, and public art. 


All Peoples Orchard

Harambee - 2864 N. 2nd St.

All Peoples Orchard

Completed: 2014  |   Partner: All Peoples Church

Situated on a hill above Locust Street, All Peoples Orchard is a unique example of how agriculture and green infrastructure can be incorporated into unexpected spaces. The orchard captures excess stormwater and helps reduce flooding in this busy area.


  • 36 fruit trees
  • Rain garden
  • Cistern (rainwater catchment) 

Dr. Lester Carter Jr. Park 

Amani - 3076 N. 24th Pl.

Dr. L. Carter Jr. Park

Completed: 2015  |  Partners: Amani United and Northwestern Mutual

Dr. Lester Carter Jr. Park was created to honor one of the longest-serving African American pharmacists in the country. He owned and operated Carter Drug Store on 24th & Burleigh St. for nearly 50 years. Dr. Carter was one of the neighborhood's most prominent community members.


  • Mural and AMANI sculpture
  • Community board
  • Fruit trees, benches


Ezekiel Gillespie Park

Lindsay Heights - 2478 N. 14th St.

Ezekiel Gillespie Park

Completed: 2014  |   Partner: Walnut Way

Ezekiel Gillespie was a Milwaukee freedman, shopkeeper, and founder of St. Mark's A.M.E Church. He won the right to vote for African American men in the 1860s. The park honors his legacy by making strides of its own as one of city's most sustainable parks. 


  • 1,000-gallon cistern (rain catchment)
  • Porous pavement
  • Fruit trees, rain garden


Harambee Square Orchard

Harambee - 134/138 W. Center St.

Harambee Square Orchard

Completed: 2015   |     Partner: N/A

Harambee Square Orchard is an unassuming green space tucked away in the neighborhood. A number of fruit trees line its north and eastern edges, offering a peaceful spot to stroll through or sit and relax on any given day. 


  • Fruit trees
  • Native gardens
  • Bench

Hope for Tomorrow Park

Amani - 2403 N. 24th Pl. & 2438 W. Meinecke Ave.

Hope for Tomorrow Park

Completed: 2015  |   Partner: N/A

For anyone seeking inspiration and healing, a stop by Hope for Tomorrow Park is sure to supply it. Small garden beds dot the park and a border of fruit trees and hedges create a welcoming space to reflect on and feel rejuvenated by the wonders of nature.


  • Fruit trees
  • Garden beds
  • Seating area


SPOTLIGHT: Fondy Park 

Lindsay Heights - 2210 W. Fond Du Lac Ave.

Completed: 2018  |   Partner: Fondy Farmers Market

Fondy Park was created to commemorate 100 years of fresh local food access at the historic Fondy Farmers Market, an essential community gathering space. The park was designed with two major goals in mind: 1) Collecting stormwater and 2) Providing a healthy space for events and resident activity.

Thanks to the work of our dedicated community partners, Fondy Park takes significant strides to protect the health of Lake Michigan. During a major storm event, approximately 83,000 gallons of water runoff (including rain diverted from the streets!) is collected through a beautiful native prairie and stored in an underground cistern system. A six-panel, 1.8-kilowatt solar system now powers the lights in the market as well as the free public Wi-Fi. Throughout the year, the space plays host to countless community events, music acts, and seasonal activities.

  • Features: Performance stage, cistern (rainwater catchment), FREE public Wi-Fi, native prairie, and solar lights
Aerial View of Fondy ParkFondy Farmers Market at the ParkFondy GreeneryFondy Pumpkin Patch

Lenox Heights Park

Lenox Heights - 6642 N. Lisbon Ave.

Lenox Heights Green Space

Completed: 2019  |   Partner: Lenox Heights Association

The pocket park received various beautification improvements that have elevated the space. The "Neighborhood of Friends" can enjoy this space to gather and experience nature.


  • Neighborhood sign
  • Tables
  • Fruit trees
  • Shrubs

Metcalfe Park Rising

Metcalfe Park - 3401-07, 3411 W. Center St.

Metcalfe Park Rising

Completed: 2016  |  Partner: Metcalfe Park Community Bridges

Through the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, the park was created on a vacant lot in a major commercial corridor with UW-Milwaukee and the community. It was designed to encourage large gatherings and children's safety.


  • Garden beds
  • Shaded seating area, grill
  • Picnic tables with built-in chess boards

MLK Jr. Peace Place Park 

Harambee - 3240-44 N. MLK Jr. Dr. 

MLK Jr Peace Park

Completed: 2015   |    Partner: HeartLove Place

The park was formed by activist Fidel Verdin and MSOE Professor Michael Carriere. Civil rights murals by artists Nic Lampert and Paul Kjelland depict local history with Father Groppi and the Milwaukee Commandos.



Nigella Community Orchard

Harambee  - 130 W. Nash St.

Nigella Community Orchard

Completed: 2015   |     Partner: N/A

Nigella Community Orchard was originally created to compliment the Nigella Community Garden located on the same site. While it may be a smaller space, it has large potential to serve as a community hub for the surronding neighborhood.


  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Fruit trees
  • Picnic table
  • Little Free Library

Scholars Park

Sherman Park -  2577-79 N. 38th St.

Scholars Park

Completed: 2016  |  Partners: Sherman Park Community Association and The Middle Ground

Located across the street from MLK College Prep, Scholars Park’s unique spiraling pathway, murals, and greenery reminds students and residents alike to apply our minds and think creatively about our communities.


  • Murals
  • Garden beds
  • Little Free Library
  • Bench

Unity Orchard Park

Sherman Park - 2506-22 N. 38th St.

Unity Orchard

Completed: 2015  |   Partner: The Middle Ground

Designed in collaboration with neighborhood residents, community organizations, and students from UW-Milwaukee and MSOE, a sense of unity sustains the space. A large mural proclaims “The time is always ripe to do right" and invites residents to reflect as they enjoy Unity Orchard Park.


  • Mural, seating areas
  • Rain barrels
  • Community gardens
  • Fruit trees

SPOTLIGHT: Victory Over Violence Park

Harambee 2615 N. MLK Jr. Dr.

Completed: 1990s  |   Partner: Historic Kind Drive Business Improvement District 8

Victory Over Violence Park honors the legacy of community leader Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson, an advocate for non-violence who founded the impactful social services organization Career Youth Development. The park serves as a healing space for survivors of violence and other traumas, as well as a community gathering hub. With the revitalization of its garden beds and addition of a new stage pad, ample opportunities to continue growing community wellness abound here.

  • Features: Victory Over Violence sculpture, Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson memorial boulder, stage pad, garden beds, and bench
Jeannetta Simpson-Robinson Memorial Boulder Victory Over Violence Park MuralVictory Over Violence Park SignVictory Over Violence Sculpture


These spaces were supported by ECO and are currently owned by other city departments or partner organizations.

Cherry Street Community Orchard

Midtown -1429 N. 23rd St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Housing Authority and Bloom MKE

Cream City Farms

Midtown - 2055-63 N. 30th St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee and Dan Johnson

Goden of Salaah

Brewer's Hill 2216 N. 2nd St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Growing Power Orchard

Havenwoods - 5616 W. Silver Spring Rd.

This park is not currently open for public use.

Havenwoods Orchard

Menomonee River Hills East - N. 61st St. & Green Tree Rd.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Privately owned

Hocking Orchard

Wahl Park - 4716 N. 45th St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Privately owned

Sterling Orchard

Old North Milwaukee - 4669 N. 30th St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Groundwork Milwaukee

Seeds of Hope Garden

Muskego Way - S. 18th St. & W. Mitchell St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Iglesia Dedios Pentecostal Church

Westlawn Orchard

Silver Spring - 5411 N. 64th St.

Current Owners/Caretakers: Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee

Thank You to Our Project Partners!


  • Amani United
  • Blue Skies Landscaping
  • Brico Foundation
  • Building Neighborhood Capacity Program
  • Business Improvement District #32 (Fondy)
  • City of Milwaukee DPW, DCD, NIDC and CBGA
  • CDBG Milwaukee
  • David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc.
  • Dominican Center
  • Ellastic Designs
  • The Energy Exchange
  • Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • Groundwork Milwaukee
  • Growing Power
  • Fondy Food Center (Fondy)
  • Fund for Lake Michigan
  • Halquist Stone Co. Inc.
  • Mark McCollow
  • McKay Nursery
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Outpost Natural Foods
  • Partners For Places Initiative
  • ReciproCITY
  • Reflo
  • Reinders
  • Riverworks Development Corp.
  • Saris
  • Simon Landscaping
  • STRONG Neighborhoods Plan
  • TrueSkool           
  • UW-Milwaukee Community Design Solutions
  • Walnut Way
  • Whole Foods
  • Zilber Family Foundation
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