The City of Milwaukee collaborates with Milwaukee Public Schools to prioritize green infrastructure on schoolyards. Annually, $600,000 from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's (MMSD) Green Solutions fund is allocated to support green schoolyards projects and the schools' Sustainability Specialist position. Projects are completed in collaboration with the Green Schools Consortium of Milwaukee.
Learn about current Schoolyard Redevelopment Projects.
The City of Milwaukee's Green Infrastructure Geographic Information Services (GIS) Tool is publicly available. Through open data sharing, the goal is to facilitate the advancement of green infrastructure planning in the City of Milwaukee, and, ultimately, make the City more sustainable and resilient.
Note: The Green Infrastructure tool is listed under Map Applications and operates best with Internet Explorer.
The City of Milwaukee finances stormwater management projects, including sewers, green infrastructure, and urban forestry, through a Stormwater Management Charge. Commercial property owners can receive a credit on this quarterly charge by adding green infrastructure to their property. This worksheet provides additional information and allows you to apply for a credit.
The City has constructed two major bioretention facilities along Canal Street in the Menomonee Valley. The facilities remove contaminants from stormwater before the flows are discharged into the Menomonee River.
City departments are directed to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from City properties by 15% and encourage businesses and residents to do the same. The Public Works facility on 35th and Capital manages its stormwater on-site in an attractive pond. In 2007, the Department of Public Works installed a green roof on the municipal building at 809 N. Broadway.
The City has funded a variety of projects to reduce the flow of stormwater into the sewer system, including downspout disconnections in targeted neighborhoods, foundation drain disconnections in public housing, and inlet restrictors on selected streets.
The City is also incorporating more native plants in boulevards and public green spaces. Native plants soak up more rain water and require less maintenance than non-native species.
The City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District share the vision that green infrastructure is a very cost-effective approach for managing stormwater and improving the water quality of our lakes and rivers. The City has installed green roofs on its historic Central Library and Municipal Building.
The use of bioretention to reduce stormwater runoff and increase on-site stormwater infiltration is incorporated into Green Street projects. These facilities function as filtration/infiltration devices. Roadway runoff enters the bioretention facilities where vegetative plantings filter pollutants and stormwater evaporates or infiltrates into the ground.
Green Street projects include:
- N. 92nd St. Greet St. - W. Capitol Dr. to W. Good Hope Rd.
- W. Grange Ave. Green St. - S. 19th St. to S. 27th St.
- N. 27th St. Green St. - W. Capitol Dr. to W. Roosevelt Dr.
The City of Milwaukee has explored cost effective and innovative approaches for managing stormwater to help neighborhoods be more resilient to extreme storm events. One approach that has been studied is the BaseTern, an underground stormwater management or rainwater harvesting structure created from the former basement of an abandoned home that has been slated for demolition. By using the existing basement cavity, the City saves on demolition costs of the old structure and the construction of the new one. The structure would be underground and covered with turf to fit safely within the neighborhood. The preliminary prototypes can hold as much water as 600 rain barrels.
Read the Feasibility Study and BaseTern FAQs.