More than a dozen new orchards, parks to be built in Milwaukee this year

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- More than a dozen new orchards and parks will be built in the City of Milwaukee this year. The work is made possible through a number of community organizations, the city, and a national grant.

The vacant lot at the corner of 14th and North is one of many in Milwaukee. But it will soon become a "Pocket Park."

"It's an opportunity to turn what really is a liability, it's an empty vacant lot, and turn it into an asset for the neighbors," said City of Milwaukee Sustainability Director Matt Howard.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the City's Office of Environmental Sustainability will turn vacant lots on the near-north side and central city into six parks and 20 orchards this year. The goal: revitalize the neighborhoods.

"The parks and the orchards really do breathe life back into these vacant spaces in a way that can create momentum for other development and investment to occur," said Kathryn Dunn with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

At 14th and North the City has a plan, which involves landscaping, trees and turning a worn-in footpath into a real walkway. Work will begin in the next couple of weeks and should be complete by the end of this year.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation was awarded a national grand worth $75,000 for this project. The foundation and other community partners matched the money -- giving them a total of $150,000 to work with. Other local organizations will also donate their time and supplies for the project.