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 HOME GR/OWN: 2019 Projects and 2018 Year in Review

2019 Major HOME GR/OWN Projects

2018 Major HOME GR/OWN Projects Summary

  • Fondy Park Phase 2
  • Neighborhood Improvement Beautification Initiative Launch
  • New Institute for Sustainable Communities grant with Walnut Way to increase Lindsay Heights climate change resiliency
  • Launch Metcalfe Park & Amani pocket parks Phase 2 Upgrades
  • SARE Grant Compost/Food Recycling Project
  • North Avenue Greenscaping Project - Year 3

Photos of 2019 projects?  - Click here or here

For more info and media coverage, click here.

ANNOUNCEMENT: August 25, 2018

Mayor Barrett announced today that Fondy Park is the first City park to offer public WI-FI sponsored by the City of Milwaukee IT Department. Service is effective immediately. It is the first new City WI-FI hotspot in 15 years. 

Free Public WiFi Connect to: FondyParkWifi no password needed WiFi available 5a.m. to 9 p.m.
Karen Dettmer erick shambarger

ANNOUNCEMENT: August 15, 2018

Do you have a neighborhood beautification project to suggest we do in 2018 or 2019?

  • Is it less than $10,000 estimated budget?
  • Is it in or around the following commercial corridors? (the beautification funding has a strong priority around commercial corridors and B.I.D districts)
    • Villard Avenue
    • Green Bay Avenue
    • North Avenue Gateway
    • North Avenue
    • Fond du Lac Avenue
    • Pierce street
    • Burleigh Street
    • Greenfield Avenue
    • Holton Avenue
    • Center Street
  • If it meets those criteria, send us an application and let's talk! Note: limited funding is available at this point as several projects are already underway.
  • As part of the 2018 and 2019 Milwaukee City Budgets, ECO's HOME GR/OWN received $265,000 for the new Neighborhood Investment beautification Program. The 2018 program and funding were approved by the Milwaukee Common Council in July, 2018. HOME GR/OWN has been working with neighborhood groups, business improvement districts, commercial corridors and City departments since January to lay out a cohesive plan for the spending of these funds in 2018 and 2019.
  • Projects already underway:
    • A revitalization of the Victory over Violence Park at MLK Drive and Center St with partners Groundwork Milwaukee and Historic King Drive B.I.D. #8, among others, UNDERWAY
    • The creation of the first butterfly garden at Butterfly park, 38th & Meinecke, DONE
    • Funding for landscaping at CommonBond's new GlenBrook Park adjacent to the old Northridge mall property on the City's northwest side, DONE
    • A major emphasis on trash and trash clean-up efforts across the City as part of a new HOME GR/OWN collaboration with Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful,
    • Coordination with the Milwaukee Christian Center on a community garden project in the south side Muskego Way neighborhood,
    • New and improved Green corridor signage in the south side 13th aldermanic district
    • and more to be announced soon.
  • As part of the North Avenue Greenscaping Project, now in its final year, the City and the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative have awarded enhanced facade and signage grants to the following Lindsay Heights North Avenue commercial businesses:
    • Galst Foods
    • Auto Parts and Services
    • Mobil QuikLube
    • Columbia Savings and Loan
    • Rainbow Foods  - Watch for the building improvements at all these commercial properties through the remainder of 2018.
    • North Avenue was repaved between 8th and 20th Streets in July, along with new corner curbing.
  • Fondy Park, which opened in September, 2017, began expanded programming with a yoga series, pollinator education classes and more underwritten by HOME GR/OWN.
  • Planning & design of a solar power addition to Fondy Park and stormwater management expansion are underway with late summer/fall installations. Primary funding for both from City ECO and Walnut Way's 2018 grant from the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC). HOME GR/OWN and Walnut Way also planning for major stormwater management/green infrastructure (GI) additions at Alice's Garden (inc. solar) with partners Alice's Garden, MMSD and Reflo and a new GI installation at Galillee church on Teutonia Ave. in Lindsay Heights.
  • With generous funding from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, HOME GR/OWN is adding significant 2018 upgrades to 3 2015 HG Partners for Places pocket parks in the Amani and Metcalfe Park neighborhoods.  

August, 2018

Fondy Park as of July 2018

aerial Fondy Park

Fly over the Fondy Park bioswale here.
Fly over the Fondy Park prairie here.

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

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
  • Final landscaping around stage
  • Concrete ADA ramp
  • Note - 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 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































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.

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.

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HOME GR/OWN and our partners were named MMSD's October 2017

Green Luminary for the Fondy Park stormwater
management project!


Aerial Footage of HOME GR/OWN sites

2017 Fondy Park - 2018 LISC MANDI

  • Fly over the Fondy Park urban prairie as of July, 2018.
  • Fly over Milwaukee's newest eco-park, video as of 9/14/17.
  • New video about Fondy Park Grand Opening here.

Ezekiel Gillespie Park - 2015 LISC MANDI

"Best Public Space"

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

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