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Photo of Mayor Barrett and Home GR/OWN breaking ground About Us

Growing Food. Growing Opportunities.

HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee empowers residents to transform neighborhoods by transforming vacant lots into community assets that spark new economic opportunities around local, healthy food production and distribution and healthy, vibrant new community spaces. HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee is an initiative of Mayor Tom Barrett, led by the City's ECO (formerly Office of Environmental Sustainability).

Read more about HOME GR/OWN In the News.

HOME GR/OWN Works with City Agencies: The HOME GR/OWN initiative coordinates activities by several City departments and agencies to lower implementation costs and streamline City policies across departments in order to effectively catalyze food system change in Milwaukee neighborhoods with the greatest demand for access to healthy food.

  • Office of the Mayor: Coordination with Strong Neighborhoods Plan
  • Department of City Development: City-owned real estate, commercial corridors, site planning
  • Department of Public Works: Forestry services, composting, lot maintenance
  • Milwaukee Health Department: Food safety, food policy, licensing, and ordinance revisions
  • Department of Neighborhood Services: Permits and ordinance revisions

HOME GR/OWN Works with External Partners: HOME GR/OWN is working with community businesses and organizations to help connect the dots between the local food, publec health, neighborhood, commercial corridor and economic development work currently taking place. HOME GR/OWN seeks to expand the capacity of this community team and attract the financial resources to take our partners’ community-based work to the next level. We are creating new public/private partnerships, catalyzing new hope and real street-level change in our most vulnerable neighborhoods across Milwaukee.

HOME GR/OWN Partners to Date: (For 2015 neighborhood partners, see our Partners for Places page)

Greater Milwaukee Foundation UWM Community Design Solutions
Zilber Foundation Alice's Garden
Northwestern Mutual Foundation UW County Extension
Fund for Lake Michigan Energy Exchange
Growing Power Milwaukee Food Council
David J. Frank Landscaping Center for Resilient Cities
City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works City of Milwaukee NIDC
City of Milwaukee Strong Neighborhoods Plan City of Milwaukee Department of City Development
City of Milwaukee Common Council City of Milwaukee Health Department
City of Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability City of Milwaukee CBGA
Walnut Way All People's Church
Outpost Natural Foods Urban Sustainability Directors Network
Whole Foods Urban Economic Development Association
Simon Landscaping Groundwork Milwaukee/MUG
McKay Nursery UWM School of Engineering
Cream City Farms UWM School of Architecture & Urban Planning
Cooperative Institute for Urban Agriculture & Nutrition Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation
Saris Neu-Life
Infallible Helping Hands Reinders
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Halquist Stone


New 2016/2017 partners include: 

Riverworks Development Corporation Operation Dream Catholic Archdiocese of MKE
Rozga Plumbing & Heating hepatha Lutheran Church Greater Milwaukee Synod
Safe and Sound Allcon Electric Business Improvement Dist #32
Veolia Water Opti ArtWorks for Milwaukee
Fondy Food Center reciproCITY GZA GeoEnvironmental
Reflo MSOE Ray Chi
Edge Design Milwaukee Christian Center  


ReFresh Milwaukee Goals

HOME GR/OWN Milwaukee is a Catalytic Project of the City of Milwaukee's ReFresh Milwaukee Sustainability Plan. A catalytic project promotes cross-cutting sustainability outcomes that mirror goals and targets throughout the City's Sustainability Plan. A catalytic project encompasses multiple Sustainability Plan goals across several themes and will benefit from collaborative and strategic direction-setting and resource investment from the community

Goal: To increase access to and demand for healthy foods in a targeted low-income Milwaukee neighborhood.

Read more about ReFresh Milwaukee's HOME GR/OWN goals and strategies HERE.

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