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HOME GR/OWN's new MLK Jr. Peace Place Park                                  

Located at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive & Ring St in Milwaukee's Harambee Neighborhood


Activist and local rapper Fidel Verdin, the creator of the 5th & Locust Peace Park and Michael Carriere, MSOE faculty and organizer of Milwaukee's "Gingerbread Lane" neighborhood approached Mayor Tom Barrett's HOME GR/OWN and City Department of City Development with a big, bold plan to transform 2 city lots on MLK and an adjoining property owned by partner Heartlove Place (across the street). Fidel and Michael wanted to create a vibrant, green community space with performance stages, public art, food production, rainwater harvesting and more! Artists Nic Lampert of UWM and Paul Kjelland had already created giant murals for the site, reflecting Milwaukee's civil rights past, depicting Father James Groppi and the Milwaukee Commandos. Given this existing depth of planning and broad partnership, the Partners for Places Initiative's decision to collaborate with this team, providing funding, design and technical support, an easy choice.

After significant neighborhood engagement and a broad community base of partners, UWM's Community Design Solutions worked with the neighborhood sponsors crafting a master plan for the site. Walnut Way's Blue Skies Landscaping was brought in to consult and suggest site changes, including significant removal of now-nuisance trees and brush, pathways and landscaping.  The site consists of 2 City-owned vacant lots leased to Groundwork Milwaukee. The park was designed & constructed in the fall of 2015 by HOME GR/OWN, UWM's Community Design Solutions & Walnut Way's Blue Skies Landscaping, employing residents from the neighborhood. Additional amenities to be installed in spring, 2016. The 2015 transformation is only phase 1 of the overall development plan for this exciting, new public space combining local food and placemaking. #thepeaceplace

Construction:      Fall, 2015
Mural Unveiling:  November 8, 2015

Sustainable Features of the park: Neighborhood Partners:
Fruit trees Heartlove Place
Urban gardens (phase 2) MSOE, UWM
Rainwater harvesting (phase 2) ReciproCITY, Antoine Carter



Before constructionBefore construction looking NE


After construction



Plan a visit: MLK Peace Place Park is located on the 3200 block of MLK Jr. Drive,

on the NE corner of MLK and Ring St

google map


See MLK Peace Place from the sky!

Watch a drone video of Blue Skies Landscaping building the park.






walnut waystrong neighborhoods planGreater MKE FoundationOESZFFNML FoundationFund for Lake MIDavid Frank LandscapeDPWhalquistSariscomm block grant agencyGroundwork MKE




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


Contact Us

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

Angela Mitchell, HOME GR/OWN Management Trainee
(414) 286-3475