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Partners for Places


HOME GR/OWN's 2015 Partners for Places (P4P) initiative:

6 pocket parks, 14 new orchard parks, and 230 fruit trees!


In late 2013, Will Allen, of Growing Power approached HOME GR/OWN about his idea to plant orchards on City-owned lots throughout Milwaukee's North Side. In the fall of 2014, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation was awarded a $75,000 competitive national grant through the Bloomberg Award for Partners for Places - a project of the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. The award was matched with additional local funding sources to make Will Allen's vision a reality.

In the summer of 2015, along with nonprofits and neighborhood group partners, HOME GR/OWN constructed 14 fruit orchards parks and 6 pocket parks on City vacant lots. Due to the high number of City-owned vacant lots in the 6th, 7th, and 15th aldermanic districts, the majority of orchards and parks were located in those districts. In 2017, 2 of the pockets parks, Adams Park & Carter Park, had major public art installations funded by the Brico Fund. The artists are Marina Lee and Ann Wydeven.


The partners contributed funding and in-kind donations of materials, equipment, and staff time, working alongside neighbors, nonprofits, and community groups to install the orchard parks and pocket parks that have increased access to free, healthy food and created safe neighborhood gathering spaces. We would like to especially thank Stark Nursery for their generous contribution of trees, bushes, and plants that kicked off this project! In 2016, the sites were maintained by the Green Team from Riverworks Development Corporation. In 2017, North Side teen men maintained a number of the sites, employed by Operation Dream.


Summer 2018 update: Over the 2017/2018 winter, HOME GR/OWN, the NML Foundation and Metcalfe Bridges neighborhood group began planning for upgrades to 2 of the 2015 pocket parks and orchard parks in the Amani and Metcalfe Park Neighborhoods. In February, 2018, the NML Foundation announced a $40,000 grant to HOME GR/OWN to upgrade amenities at these 3 sites. Subject to final budgets, this partnership plans to added upgraded seating, shade sails, grills and improved landscaping at the 3 sites. In July, 2018, 16 Northwestern Mutual employees helped beautify 2 of the sites: the Amani Community Orchard and Dr. Carter Park - photos below.

NML Volunteer Day, July 2018
Freshly-planted art planters installed in 2017 Amani Orchard trees get new mulch
Stump path to be upgraded in 2018 NML employee volunteers at Carter Park
New mulch and landscape around public art Carter Park with new plantings and mulch


Here are the 6 major 2016 P4P pocket parks: 

HOME GR/OWN's 14 P4P Orchard Parks

In 2015, HOME GR/OWN, Blue Skies Landscaping and Groundwork Milwaukee built 14 new fruit orchard parks. Orchard parks are safe and healthy community gathering spaces - with food! We thank our 2015 partner Forest Home Cemetery for the donation of tree trunks for our Locust "stump walk' feature and Milwaukee Water Works for all their help with hydrant access.

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


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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

P4P Neighborhood Partners

  • All Peoples Church
  • BNCP - Building Neighborhood Capacity Program
  • Dominican Center
  • Amani United
  • Walnut Way
  • Growing Power
  • Housing Authority of City of Milwaukee
  • Mt Zion Baptist Church
  • Groundwork Milwaukee
  • The Middle Ground
  • Sherman Park Community Association
  • SET Ministries
  • Havenswood Economic Development Corporation
  • Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church
  • South Harambee Neighborhood Group
  • Heartlove, Fidel Verdin & MSOE
  • Riverworks Development Corporation

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