Partners for Places
HOME GR/OWN's 2015 Partners for Places (P4P) initiative, #P4P_MKE:
6 pocket parks, 14 new orchard parks, and 230 fruit trees!
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.
In December 2018, the HOME GR/OWN first-of-its-kind shade sail project and numerous tables, chess tables and benches were installed at the three parks - photos below. The project will end in 2019 after numerous landscaping improvements. The grant will also cover multiple years of professional maintenance.
General Partners for Places MKE Background
In late 2013, Will Allen, formerly 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, HOME GR/OWN partnered with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and 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 a greatly expanded version of 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-owned 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.
OUR PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP:
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.