City of Milwaukee
The City's Green Infrastructure Plan outlines green schoolyard projects, the addition of bioswales and permeable pavement to streets, infrastructure on libraries, and the removal and replacement of pavement. The City is also committed to developing an inclusive workforce to create and maintain green infrastructure projects with organizations like Walnut Way's Blue Skies Landscaping and Groundwork Milwaukee.
In addition to the Green Infrastructure Plan, Milwaukee’s HOME GR/OWN initiative redevelops vacant city lots into useful, green urban spaces. One achievement is Fondy Park, a previously vacant 3/5 acre City lot that contains 19 stormwater trees and a 2,700-square-foot bioswale. Fondy Park has the ability to capture and infiltrate over 21,850 gallons of stormwater each rain event.
Green infrastructure resources are available through the ECO Design Guidelines, ECO Neighborhoods Toolkit, and Rainwater Collection Guidelines for Milwaukee Residents & Property Owners.
Farmers Market at Fondy Park
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Envisioning a healthier Milwaukee region and a cleaner Lake Michigan, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) has transformed its approach to managing stormwater in sanitary and combined stormwater/sanitary pipes with the use of green infrastructure.
By the year 2035, MMSD plans to create enough green infrastructure in its service area to capture 740 million gallons of water every time it rains. To meet this assertive goal, MMSD has developed unique programs that have taken region-wide revitalization efforts and brought them down to the individual’s front yard.
Rain Garden Installation (Photo: MMSD)
The Milwaukee non-profit organization Reflo has helped capture thousands of gallons of stormwater throughout Milwaukee with a large breadth of projects ranging from small urban gardens to massive stormwater cisterns.
Reflo has also developed a handbook for green infrastructure for Milwaukee Area Schools, which provides information and resources to assist schools with the process of successfully implementing and maintaining green infrastructure projects. The guide also encompasses permitting and approvals, school curriculum connections, impact plans, case studies, and options for funding.
Students learning in an outdoor classroom at Hawthorne School (Photo: Reflo)
Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., referred to as Sweet Water, is a Milwaukee non-profit dedicated to restoring the Greater Milwaukee watersheds. Sweet Water’s Mini-Grant Program distributes grants of up to $1,500 to non-profit organizations, community, and civic groups for projects or activities that advance Sweet Water's mission and vision. Priority is given to community outreach and engagement projects for stormwater management.
Projects are located in the five Greater Milwaukee Watersheds (the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee, Milwaukee, Root, and Oak Creek) as well as the direct drainage area to Lake Michigan.
Green Infrastructure at Bradford Beach
Groundwork Milwaukee is a non-profit that brings about the sustained regeneration, improvement, and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships that empower people, businesses, and organizations to promote environmental, economic, and social well-being.
Among its many programs, Groundwork partners with Milwaukee youth to implement green infrastructure practices through the City of Milwaukee. As of today, Groundwork's Milwaukee Urban Garden Network has implemented 70+ gardens containing a variety of green infrastructure practices throughout the city.