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Green Luminaries Light the Way

February 7, 2020

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) Green Luminary awards highlight exceptional projects using green infrastructure to collect and harvest rainwater within the MMSD service area, improving water quality in our rivers and lake.

The Green Luminary award is given to businesses, organizations, and communities that not only invest in green infrastructure to clean our water, but also inspire us through education and engagement.

We invite you to explore the newly updated Green Luminaries water story through the Milwaukee Community Map, where over 40 project videos showcase a wide variety of green infrastructure designs across various scales.

The Kaufmann house transformed the exterior of their property with green roofs, porous pavement, bioswales, and rain gardens. The residential project highlights the environmental benefits of managing rainwater where it falls. The Kaufmann house also serves as an inspiration to other community members in converting components on their own home to better serve the environment while beautifying their yard.

Poblocki Paving converted a parking lot into porous pavement, collecting water in underground tanks that in turn is reused to supply water for their business. As a result, the paving company saves money, time, and gas–illustrating the business case for green infrastructure. Poblocki is a proud example of a for-profit company helping the local environment and directly benefiting from their green infrastructure.

The Urban Ecology Center, with three locations throughout the Milwaukee area, incorporates green roofs, rain gardens, and rain barrels at all of its campuses. All the water collected is kept on-site, used to irrigate gardens and flush toilets. Thousands of kids and adults visit the Urban Ecology Center annually, meaning that education about the value of green infrastructure reaches a diverse cross-section of Milwaukeeans.

Catherine Trowbridge is a current master’s student at the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Science, graduating in May 2020. Both her personal and professional passions include protecting the environment, specifically water resources, through policy and public engagement. Currently an intern at Reflo, Catherine focuses on maintaining and creating stories within the Milwaukee Community Map to educate viewers on the City’s sustainable and innovative developments.

Michael Timm is a writer, editor, and game designer who worked seven years as a hyperlocal journalist and holds a master’s degree from the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences. Passionate about connecting and engaging general audiences with stories hidden in plain sight, he manages Reflo’s Milwaukee Water Stories program where he piloted a place-based app, co-created a digital role-playing game inspired by Milwaukee’s water history, and curates the Milwaukee Community Map.

Reflo – Sustainable Water Solutions                                                                                              As a Milwaukee nonprofit organization, Reflo’s mission is to become a leader in sustainable water use, green infrastructure, and water management in urban environments.

Milwaukee Community Map
The Milwaukee Community Map is a free and amazing tool that uses the power of Google Earth to visualize stories never before experienced in one place. The data informing these stories is shared by community, public, and private entities and curated around the theme of “Water & Community.” The nonprofit Reflo – Sustainable Water Solutions curates the map. Funding was provided by Brico Fund and in part by Wisconsin Department of Administration, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant #NA18NOS4190091.
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