Riverwest Receives More than $140,000 to Fund Green Space Projects

Riverwest’s Garden Park and the Beerline B Trail (to run south from Gordon Park at Humboldt and Locust to the North Avenue Dam) received $125,000 and $17,000 respectively in May to fund work on both projects. Garden Park was one of two Milwaukee recipients of federal brownfield remediation money, a project in which DCD brownfields specialist and Riverwest resident Benjamin Timm has played a key role. The award, part of the first round of Wisconsin’s new Greenspace and Public Facilities grants, was announced at a joint press conference on May 20 by Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Jim Doyle. The money will be used to remediate the contaminated park land at Garden Park, a neighbor-adopted park at the corner of Bremen and Locust Streets that bustles with farmers’ market activities every Sunday afternoon from summer to fall. The Riverwest neighborhood will work with Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG) to complete and maintain the park as public green space. The land will be owned by MUG. The remediation plan for Garden Park will be developed this summer with input from the neighborhood. Work will begin this fall. The $17,000 award for the Beerline B Trail was announced by the Sierra Club after the group received a settlement from a lawsuit against the Cintas Corporation, which had been in violation of the Clean Water Act for years. Sierra Club was represented by the public interest law firm of Midwest Environmental Advocates. The Sierra Club shared the money with the River Revitalization Foundation, a group that has been working on securing funds to develop a public access bicycle trail along the former Beerline B railroad from Locust to North along the River. The money helps cover the matching funds RRF needed to raise to meet the state grant requirements. Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers also received some money from the Sierra Club settlement which they will use to purchase a boat and water quality monitoring equipment.
by Sonya Jongsma Knauss