National recognition for a Milwaukee initiative on locally-designed and constructed small parks. Props to Mayor Barrett and all the partners who are helping create a more sustainable city.
HOME GR/OWN Initiative Awarded Design Honor
New parks recognized in “Urban Strategy” category at 2015 SXSW Eco Awards
MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett’s HOME GR/OWN initiative and its Partners for Places project were recognized with a 2015 SXSW (South by Southwest) Eco Award in the international Places by Design contest. HOME GR/OWN is operated by the Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability as outlined in the Refresh Milwaukee sustainability plan. HOME GR/OWN is transforming vacant lots into more than 20 attractive pocket parks and orchards, including Ezekiel Gillespie Park.
The SXSW Eco Award helps raise Milwaukee’s international profile on environmental sustainability. SXSW Eco is an annual conference held in Austin, Texas, that creates a space for business leaders, investors, innovators and designers to advance solutions that drive economic, environmental and social change.
“The community partnerships fostered to develop all of HOME GR/OWN’s new vacant lot transformations are helping to create a more sustainable city,” Mayor Barrett said. “I am proud of our HOME GR/OWN program and the Partners for Places team for receiving this prestigious award and for growing opportunities in Milwaukee neighborhoods.”
Tim McCollow, HOME GR/OWN Program Manager, and Carolyn Esswein of the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, pitched the project to conference judges on behalf of the park’s design team. The design team also included Walnut Way Conservation Corporation, Energy Exchange, and dozens of community residents who participated in design workshops. The projects are being built by non-profit landscape companies using workers from the neighborhoods.
Partners for Places is funded through City, philanthropic and community supporters. National funding was provided through a Bloomberg Award for Partners for Places - a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, received by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Local funding was provided by the Community Development Grants Administration, GMF and other members of the Community Development Alliance, including Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the Fund for Lake Michigan and Zilber Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by Growing Power, David J. Frank Landscaping, the Mayor’s Strong Neighborhoods program, the Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation, and the Milwaukee Common Council.