Menomonee Valley Industrial Center and Community Park
Milwaukee, Wisconsin United States
Public Parks and Recreation, Inland Waterways
City of Milwaukee
The park in Milwaukee is intended to reconnect economically distressed neighborhoods to the broader city, facilitating urban revitalization while helping to improve ecological conditions along the heavily modified Menomonee River. Located on the site of what once was an abandoned rail yard, the new park features trails and a trio of pedestrian bridges linking the facility to adjoining neighborhoods and offering residents improved access to economic and recreational opportunities. Known as Three Bridges Park, the 24 acre site also includes landscape features designed to resemble natural glacial landforms and a system for collecting and storing storm-water runoff underground before dispensing it to wetland-like habitats.
Triple Bottom Line
Economic: The park attracted six new industries with 700 sustained jobs and generated $1 million in increased city tax revenue. Onsite management of demolition debris and contaminated soil saved $10 million in disposal costs, and a cooperative agreement with Wisconsin DOT netted $1.5 million.
Social: The site offers alternative transportation for local workers through regional bus routes or walking paths. A cohort of 22 neighborhood schools use the site to strengthen science curriculum through
Seeds For the Future
program. Community events such as Community Planting Days encourage community engagement.
Environmental: The construction of the park included remediation of over 120,000 CY of asbestos-containing building debris into landscape mounds. Recycled glass and former stockyard beams were incorporated into site landscaping. A state-of-the-art stormwater reservoir and treatment facility cleans industrially-contaminated stormwater flows into the Menomonee River.
The Menomonee Industrial Center and Community Park received the ASCE 2011 Innovation in Sustainability Civil Engineering Award as well as the 2009 Region 5 Phoenix Award. The remediation project converted a polluted and previously abandoned industrial zone into a public park and stormwater management facility.