Bookmark and Share


HOME GR/OWN - an initiative of Mayor Tom Barrett and the City Environmental Collaboration Office


HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee is an initiative of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, led by the City's Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO).

  • Transform targeted neighborhoods by concentrating City and partner resources, catalyzing new, healthy food access and greenspace developments to promote economic development in City neighborhoods and commercial corridors.
  • Make it easier to grow and access local food and re-purpose city-owned vacant lots. We work within City government to streamline processes, permitting, and ordinances, making it easier to grow and distribute healthy food, start new food-based businesses and improve vacant lots into parks, orchards and healthy green spaces, increasing Milwaukee quality of life.
  • Work within Milwaukee's community food system to link local growers to local markets, increase urban food infrastructure (water, access, compost), support new urban farms and increase the number of healthy food retailers and wholesalers.


Latest News - For more on the latest news, click here.

June 2018: WHAT A MONTH FOR FONDY PARK! At the Park grand opening last September, we cut the ribbon on what we called Phase 1. As promised, a number of Phase 2 amenities and features were added this month (photos below):

  • Locally-made new corner sign installed
  • New rain garden added, capturing stormwater off the Fondy stage roof
  • New pollinator garden
  • New herb harden
  • Shrubs
  • Concrete ADA ramp
  • New sod (all but the ADA ramp installed "By the neighborhood, for the neighborhood" by Walnut Way's Blue Skies Landscaping).

On June 18th, Milwaukee was hit with major storms, with several inches of rainfall reported in the area. Fondy Park's rain gauge recorded 3.7" of rainfall. The significant stormwater management features at Fondy Park captured 69,700 gallons of rainwater, helping keep Lake Michigan and our rivers clean. The Cream City Farms commercial urban farm, with sophisticated stormwater management features, captured 14,000 gallons that day, filling up the 40,000 gallon reservoir.

City Hall became a CSA Box pick-up point in June, with 29 City employees and downtown workers picking up their weekly or biweekly CSA box.

ECO HOME GR/OWN received $165,000 in neighborhood beautification funding in the 2018 budget. On June 27, HOME GR/OWN received approval of our spending plan by the Common Council's Community and Economic Development committee. Target area for initiatives include: commercial corridor beautification, clean streets, green parking lots

May 2018: HOME GR/OWN's Fondy Park won a Mayor's Design Award! Fondy Park was honored along with other outdoor and commercial projects across the City of Milwaukee. You can read more about Fondy Park here and read the news stories here.

We thank the Northwestern Mutual Foundation for a new grant of $40,000 to HOME GR/OWN which will be used over the next year to add amenities and do additional landscaping at 3 pocket parks we built in conjunction with many other partners in the Amani and Metcalfe Park neighborhoods! 

March 2018: HOME GR/OWN's Fondy Park wins a prestigous LISC MANDI Award for Best Public Space on March 15th! Photos from Awards Night below. The Fondy Park partners in attendence accepted the team award on behalf of the broad public/private partnership that took a 30-year blighted, vacant lot and transformed it into a new community gathering and event space on top of a state of the art stormwater management system. You can read more about Fondy Park here and read the news stories here. LISC FONDY PARK VIDEO HERE

February 2018: The City of Milwaukee ECO and Walnut Way Conservation Corps have a won a major grant to promote and install solar and stormwater management in Milwaukee's Lindsay Heights Neighborhood in 2018. The competitive, national grant from the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) names Walnut Way as one of their new Partners for Resilient Communities. ECO, Walnut Way and stakeholders will work to complete up to 4 solar power installations and at least 1 stormwater management project in Lindsay Heights in 2018. We will also be creating a solar installer job training program for residents of color and working with residents to make Lindsay Heights one of Milwaukee's first ECO Neighborhoods. On February 23, City ECO, Health and HR departments partnered with the Milwaukee Food Council, Springdale Farm and Cream City Farm to celebrate national CSA Day. The event increased awareness of CSAs as another option to increase access to healthy, local food (a HOME GR/OWN & ReFreshMKE stated goal), encouraged local workplaces to become 2018 CSA drop-off locations and kicked off CSA sign-ups for City Hall staff.

January 2018: What if you could pick up a box nearby your house filled with local farmer-fresh produce every week this summer/fall during harvest season? That type of service is called a "CSA", for "community supported agriculture. Numerous area farmers offer a CSA subscription plan each year and the Urban Ecology Center is scheduling a "Know Your Farmer" CSA sign-up event on March 10. HOME GR/OWN and the City Health Department have partnered with the Milwaukee Food Council to promote CSAs in the Milwaukee area this winter. More information to follow but click here for more information on CSAs in general. Looking for fresh, local food now? The Fondy Farmers Market Winter Market is open every Saturday at the Domes from 9am - 1pm. 

December 2017: HOME GR/OWN and its Fondy Park partners have been named a Finalist in LISC's 2018 MANDI Awards! Fondy Park and the Riverwest 24 event were named Finalists in the Brewers Community Foundation Public Space category. Winners will be announced in March 2018. In 2015, HOME GR/OWN and its partners' Ezekiel Gillespie Park won the MANDI for "Best Public Space".



Dashboard Image


Mayor Tom Barrett’s HOME GR/OWN initiative is working to transform neighborhoods. Learn more about us and what we do. HOME GR/OWN In the News.


Dashboard Image


In 2017, HOME GR/OWN is focused on the "greenscaping" of North Avenue between 5th - 27th Streets and the construction of Fondy Park.

Dashboard Image


We can help residents re-purpose vacant lots, grow their own food and increase access to healthy, local food.

  Dashboard Image

Engage and Connect

Help HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee create Strong Neighborhoods and create beautiful, sustainable spaces using City-owned vacant lots.


JUNE 2018: Fondy Park Phase 2 Improvements Installed

Yoga Series at the park began June 23rd New rain garden on back of stage
yoga rain garden
Imagination Station at the Park June 23rd via City DPW MKEPLAYS New corner sign, built by local Milwaukee Blacksmith; concept: reciproCITY
MKE blocks fondy sign
Pollinator garden New sod and shrubs
pollinator garden fondy stage




MARCH 2018: HOME GR/OWN's Fondy Park wins LISC 2018 MANDI Award for Best Public Space


The MANDI Award Fondy Park partners on-stage at MANDI event
mandi award fondy partners on stage
Justin Hegarty from Reflo Jen Casey from Fondy Food Center
justin hegarty jen casey
Bryan Simon - Simon Landscaping Tony Velez - Walnut Way Blue Skies
bryan simon tony velez
Fondy Partners inc Kara Koch, GZA (3rd from left) and Carolyn Esswein, UWM CDS (3rd from right) Fondy Partners, not shown elsewhere: Alderman Russell Stamper II (top), Darrin Madison, ECO (2nd from left), Arthur Wilson, B.I.D. #32 (3rd from right)
fondy winners pic 2









































New City Food Access Mapping

(posted July 2017)

The City Department of City Development (DCD) has produced some detailed mapping of healthy food access issues as part of its study on healthy food access and new supermarket potential within the City, a Common Council request led by Alderman Khalif Rainey. HOME GR/OWN consulted on the DCD study. While DCD's study is ongoing, the following maps have been released. 

Food Access and Poverty Rate                            Food Access and Population Density

Food Access and Purchasing Power                     Food Access and City Vacant Properties

Food Access and MCTS Bus Routes                     Food Access and SNAP Recipiency

Food Access and Grocery Store Service Areas


Please wait while we gather your results.

Fondy Park

See ECO's new Fondy Park that opened 9/16/17

MLK Peace Place 

North Avenue Greenscape

North Avenue 8th to 27th streetscaping 2016/2017

Flower planters 

Amani Public Art

See Amani's 2 new public art projects

Tim McCollow
HOME GR/OWN Program Manager
(414) 286-3748


Connect With Us

Connect via E-Notify Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Browser our photo gallery

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

HOME GR/OWN and our partners were named MMSD's October Green Luminary for the Fondy Park stormwater management project. #fondypark17


Aerial Footage of HOME GR/OWN sites

2017 Fondy Park

Fly over Milwaukee's newest eco-park, video as of 9/14/17.

New video about Fondy Park Grand Opening here.

Ezekiel Gillespie Park

See a drone's-eye view of the park chosen for the 2015 MANDI

Award for Best Public Space and a 2015 Mayor's Design Award.

Check us out on Instagram at homegrownmke

Fly over HOME GR/OWN projects on our YouTube page