ECO partnered with over a dozen City and community partners, including Walnut Way's Blue Skies Landscaping, to deliver the new Fondy Park
Spring 2018 Newsletter
Message from the Director

Earth Week 2018 represents another year of working towards our goal of environmental action in Milwaukee and around the world. We are thinking globally and promoting Milwaukee through the UN Compact Cities Programme. We are acting locally to make Milwaukee a world class eco-city on America's Fresh Coast.

In 2018 the Environmental Collaboration Office is continuing our action to address climate change and the threats it presents to the City. Our energy efficiency and renewable energy programs including the Better Buildings Challenge , Me 2 , and Milwaukee Shines reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our green infrastructure programs, like HOME GR/OWN , help the city become more resilient while bringing tangible benefits to neighborhoods. Yale Climate Connections recently highlighted Milwaukee's work in this area. We are especially proud of the new award-winning Fondy Park that manages over 70,000 gallons of stormwater.

 One of our goals this year is to advance the solar presence in Milwaukee. At ECO, we are currently pursuing a three-pronged strategy to advance renewable energy. First, we are seeking proposals for 1.1 megawatt system of solar on six city buildings to be co-owned by the City and a third-party energy investor. Second, we are working to streamline city codes to make it easier to install solar. Finally, we are working with Milwaukee's utility, We Energies, to explore utility-scale solar options to meet the City's (and other large institutions') electricity demand.

To continue reaching our sustainability goals, we want to further engage the community with the environment. When people understand why it is essential to keep the precious resources of clean water, air and land available for generations to come, they will be active in creating green and sustainable communities.


Erick Shambarger
Director, Environmental Collaboration Office
Our Programs In Review
Water Centric City Framework Published

This fall Milwaukee’s Water Centric City initiative worked with Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, The Water Council, MMSD and the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences to develop a framework of what it means to be a Water Centric City. Graduate students Samantha Katt and Dylan Waldhuetter provided a thorough data analysis of what exactly it means to be ‘water centric.’ This framework provides a series of indicators and metrics to go along with each of our seven WCC principles. Using this framework, Milwaukee is encouraging other cities and counties across the nation to take the pledge to become a water centric city by providing a clean set of goals and objectives. Our new Water Centric City website describe each principle in detail, and provide detailed examples of how Milwaukee is a national water leader. Visit the new webpage at .

Milwaukee Featured in Webinar on Water Innovation

Milwaukee is recognized as a innovating water leader in the U.N. Global Compact Cities program. Milwaukee leaders collaborated with Leeurwarden, Netherlands, another U.N. innovating city, in a webinar that can now be viewed online . The webinar discusses approaches to using water to achieve local and global environmental, social, and economic gains.

Green Infrastructure Plan in Development

In Spring 2018, ECO plans to release a Green Infrastructure Plan Framework for the City of Milwaukee. The framework will propose strategies to create more visible green infrastructure in Milwaukee. Graduate students and researchers have supported ECO in developing this plan framework.
Fondy Park Celebrates Success

HOME GR/OWN’s Fondy Park opened on September 16 th and has enjoyed many successes since. In October Fondy Park was awarded the MMSD’s Green Luminaries award for its stormwater management project, and the 2018 MANDI Award for "Best Public Space"! The Fondy Farmers Market is continuing to operate during the winter at the Greenhouse Annex of the Mitchell Park Domes, Saturdays from 9-1.

Community Supported Agriculture in Milwaukee

HOME GR/OWN is also initiating an exciting program to deliver local farm-fresh produce to Milwaukee residents. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a service that connects community members with local farms by buying a ‘share’ of the farm. In return, share-holders receive fresh produce every week during the summer/fall harvest season. Home Gr/own and the City Health Department partnered with the Milwaukee Food Council to promote CSAs in the Milwaukee area this winter, and are initiating a pick-up site at City Hall.
City Buildings Working to Reduce Energy Use

Over 100 buildings throughout Milwaukee have now pledged to be part of the Better Buildings Challenge . We continue our commitment to improve energy efficiency in City buildings along with Milwaukee Shines solar initiatives in accordance the ReFresh sustainability plan, which calls for the City to reduce energy use 20% by 2020. In 217 and 2018, we improved 23 City-owned buildings through tuning up and retro-commissioning of our mechanical systems. We are currently working on 25+ more buildings to meet our energy efficiency goals.

ReEnergize Milwaukee 2017

In October, the Better Buildings Challenge held its first annual ReEnergize Milwaukee awards celebration, The event honored the program’s commitment to promoting its participants and recognizing their work in energy use reduction. The 2017 winners were:

Outstanding Energy Performance

People's Choice Award

Energy Efficiency Project of the Year 

ReEnergizer of the Year 
Deon Sartin from Wangard Partners

Occupant Engagement 

ECO Welcomes New Staff Member

This winter Jamie Ferschinger joined the ECO team as the director of energy efficiency programs. Jamie has experience in green construction project management and over 10 years of non-profit leadership at the Urban Ecology Center, and she serves on a number of governance boards for environmental and social organizations in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Leaders Advocate for Solar

In an effort to provide Milwaukee residents with clean energy options, Milwaukee leaders wrote to We Energies asking for progressing action on energy policies. As the main utility for the City of Milwaukee, We Energies has the ability to create options for renewable energy in the City. The letter was signed by Mayor Tom Barrett, Milaukee County Executive Chris Abele, as well as Vicki Martin, President of MATC, and Kevin Shafer, Executive Director of MMSD.

One Megawatt of Solar for Milwaukee

The City's sustainability plan calls on the City to reduce energy use 20% by 2020 and increase reliance on renewable energy to 25% by 2025. ECO is collaborating with DPW, Milwaukee Public Library, and Milwaukee Police Department to install 1.1 megawatts of solar on City buildings in 2018. Read the write-up by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel!

Milwaukee Wind Turbine on Track to Reach 1 Million Kilowatt Hours

In other renewable energy news, the Milwaukee wind turbine, located just south of downtown, will reach a milestone of 1 million kilowatt hours of clean energy produced, saving energy costs of over $100,000. The turbine was installed in 2012, with a dozen Wisconsin family businesses having a hand in the project. 
ECO Welcomes Public Ally to Team

The Eco Neighborhoods Initiative began substantial work this fall with the help of Darrin B. Madison, ECO’s AmeriCorps Public Ally. Darrin uses the Eco-Neighborhoods Toolkit, developed last summer, to encourage Milwaukee neighborhood residents to actively engage in ecologically friendly behaviors. He is currently working with the Clarke Square, Muskego Way, and Lindsey Heights neighborhoods.

ECO Joins Walnut Way in Partnership with ISC

ECO and Walnut Way are partnering with the national Institute for Sustainable Communities. The partnership will initiate solar and green infrastructure including:

  • Support four solar installations at four high-visibility Lindsay Heights sites along with solar power installer job training.
  • Design, install, and maintain one or more green infrastructure installations to mitigate urban flooding in Milwaukee’s combined sewer system and increase community access to green space.
  • The solar and green infrastructure projects will serve as demonstration sites to enhance community engagement on sustainability topics—building neighborhood pride and community resilience.
  • ECO will also be rolling out its Neighborhood Toolkit in Lindsay Heights, focused on sustainability and resilience.