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PULASKI PARK

NEIGHBORHOOD
STORMWATER PLAN
A UNIQUE APPROACH TO
STORMWATER PLANNING,
IMPLEMENTATION AND
COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION

Milwaukee, WI
January 2015

PROJECT TEAM
Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
GRAEF
City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works
Milwaukee County Parks
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Urban Ecology Center

Funded by the Fund for Lake Michigan Grant

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

5

NEIGHBORHOOD BACKGROUND

6

THE PULASKI PARK NEIGHBORHOOD STORMWATER PLAN

7

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

11

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE RECOMMENDATIONS

14

HABITAT IMPROVEMENTS AND STEWARDSHIP

28

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

29

Social and Community Impact
Economic Impact

CONCLUSION

34

APPENDIX A: PULASKI PARK EXISTING CONDITIONS

35

APPENDIX B: PULASKI PARK SURVEY RESULTS

39

APPENDIX C: REGULATORY RELIEF AND INCENTIVIZING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

42

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EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY

The Pulaski Park Neighborhood is located on Milwaukee’s South Side and is home to over 18,000 residents living in just under
two square miles. The Kinnickinnic River runs through this community and is beginning to be seen as an asset in part due to
large scale channel restoration being undertaken by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The channel restoration
has opened the doors for partners to develop the Pulaski Park Neighborhood Stormwater Plan that identifies complementary
projects that will:

Help reduce the risk of flooding

Improve water quality

Improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat

Assist municipalities in meeting regulatory requirements

What makes this project unique is the collaboration of community, public, and private sector partners who have been working
together since 2012. The plan identifies opportunities to revitalize Pulaski Park and address other community needs related to
health, housing, and environmental education. This plan was developed with public, private, non-profit, and resident partners
in order to identify:

The most cost effective types and locations of green infrastructure

How green infrastructure implementation can be leveraged to achieve additional triple bottom line goals

A comprehensive plan that meets multiple stakeholder goals and can be implemented in a phased approach

How partners can work together to meet stormwater management and community goals in a more financially effective
and impactful way.

Recommendations listed in this plan include:
212,117 square feet of permeable pavement
44,591 square feet of bioswales and biofiltration basins
30 stormwater trees
16,000 square feet of rain gardens
12,655 gallons of rainwater harvesting
The implementation of the above recommendations would result in a 50% reduction of total suspended solids, a capture of
45% of the volume associated with the first half inch of rain, and 42% reduction in phosphorus.
Recommendations listed in this plan have already begun to move forward and full implementation will result in substantial
improvements in water quality, reductions in stormwater quantity entering the sewer system and river, a community that
understands the challenges and opportunities in their neighborhood, and government agencies better positioned to meet
regulatory goals. This plan is intended to be replicated to the degree possible in other parts of the watershed and throughout
southeastern Wisconsin in order to support collaborative approaches to stormwater management and creative approaches to
neighborhood revitalization.

Thank you to all of the people who have provided input into the development and implementation of this plan!

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NEIGHBORHOOD
BACKGROUND

The Kinnickinnic River neighborhood is a diverse and vibrant community on Milwaukee’s south side. The boundaries of the
neighborhood extend from S. 27th Street to Interstate 43/94 and W. Oklahoma Avenue to W. Lincoln Avenue. The neighborhood
has a population of 18,280 residents in 5,378 households living in under two square miles. Of these households, 71 percent
are Latino and 38 percent of residents are under the age of 19. Homeownership is approximately 67 percent and the average
household income is $32,030 per year.1
The neighborhood is named after the Kinnickinnic River, or “KK River,” one of three rivers that flow into the Milwaukee River
Estuary and Lake Michigan harbor. The KK River drains a watershed that covers 25 square miles, and is the smallest within
the Milwaukee River Basin. The area surrounding the river is the most urbanized and densely populated of all of the Milwaukee
rivers and has experienced significant flooding events over the years. Since the 1960s, the river has been lined with concrete
starting near Interstate 43/94 as a solution to minimize flooding in the surrounding neighborhoods. Flooding persists however,
and safety has become a significant concern given the high velocity water that results during storms in the concrete-lined
riverbed.
Through substantial community engagement efforts, residents are in a position to scale up commitments to environmental
education, stewardship, and community ownership of green infrastructure projects in the neighborhood. Currently there are
65 property owners in the KK River neighborhood that contribute to these stormwater efforts many of which are along S.
16th Street, facing Pulaski Park. These efforts include a total of 3,868 square feet of rain gardens, 140 rain barrels and 13
stormwater shrubs. This is significant as these efforts work in tandem with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s
(MMSD) Kinnickinnic River Flood Management Project; supports City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and regional plans;
helps address regulatory relief; trains residents on how and why to manage stormwater; and illustrates the need and impact of
cross jurisdictional collaboration. SSCHC has been working to support these initiatives to ensure that improvements in quality
of life and health outcomes are also achieved in addition to flood management goals.
1

Information from 2010 census

KK River Neighborhood Plan

Project Area

Pulaski Park

KK River

W. Lincoln Avenue

I-94/I-43

W. Oklahoma Avenue

Figure 1.

S. 6th Street

S. 16th Street

S. 20th Street

S. 27th Street

W. Cleveland Avenue

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City of Milwaukee and project area context.
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THE PULASKI PARK
NEIGHBORHOOD
STORMWATER PLAN

WATER QUALITY
NON-POINT SOURCE
Refers to a diffuse source of pollution, often
associated with large areas and certain
types of land use. This pollution is caused
by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and
through the ground. As the runoff moves,
it picks up and carries away natural and
human-made pollutants, depositing them
into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters
and ground waters.

The Pulaski Park Neighborhood Stormwater Plan
(PPNSP) quantifies non-point source pollution reduction
amounts that will be achieved as the Plan is implemented.
Reductions in flow, total suspended solids (TSS) and
total phosphorus are expected, and contributions towards
meeting the emerging Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)
for the KK River have been estimated. These water quality
and quantity improvements will also support downstream
aquatic and terrestrial habitat restoration initiatives that
are in various stages of implementation.

TOTAL SUSPENDED SOLIDS (TSS)
A water quality measurement that includes
all particles suspended in water. Sources
include industrial discharges, fertilizers,
road runoff, construction runoff, and soil
erosion.

Existing conditions show a total of over 35,000 pounds
of TSS enters the sewer system or KK River untreated.
The long term vision of the Pulaski Park Neighborhood
Stormwater Plan, which includes the total buildout of
multiple green infrastructure elements, results in a 50%
reduction in TSS, 42% phosphorus reduction, capturing
of 45% of the volume associated with the of the first half
inch of rainfall, and 20% reduction of average annual
rainfall directly entering the storm sewer or KK River. The
PPNSP outlines existing conditions related to stormwater
quality and quantity, identifies specific green infrastructure
recommendations that can be implemented over time,
as well as how these types of investments can result in
improvements that impact economic and social needs in
the community. This Plan also identifies how improvements
in water quality and reduction in stormwater quantity can
be shared across political and property boundaries to
meet water quality and quantity regulations in the most
cost effective manner.

Figure 2.

TOTAL MAXIMUM
DAILY LOADS (TMDLs)
A water quality plan that sets goals or targets
for watershed restoration plans. Basically it
is a pollution “budget” for a water body or
watershed that establishes the pollutant
reduction needed from each pollutant source
to meet water quality standards.
http://water.epa.gov/

Exis ng KK River channel condi on.
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http://dnr.wi.gov/

A PHASED APPROACH
Project partners for this Plan include Sixteenth Street
Community Health Centers (SSCHC), GRAEF, City of
Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW), Milwaukee
County Parks, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
(MMSD), and the Urban Ecology Center (UEC). Partners
were chosen not only because of their vested interest in
the area (City and County are landowners), but also to
ensure that a comprehensive approach to the identification
of stormwater management strategies and quality of life
opportunities were incorporated into the Plan. Partners
have been working together since 2012 to set performance
standards, identify green infrastructure options, and obtain
community input. What makes this project unique is the
collaboration of partners (community, public and private
sector), joint implementation of projects that address
performance standards that support various stormwater
management goals and plans, and identification of
opportunities to leverage green infrastructure to improve
and revitalize the neighborhood and Pulaski Park. The
outcome is a three phased project approach that will
result in the implementation of a cost effective mix of
green infrastructure on various properties as well as
improvements for quality of life. These strategies can be
implemented in a phased approach, on different land use
types, and result in regulatory relief for municipalities and
Milwaukee County.

2012

PRE-PLANNING
(Fall ‘12 - Fall ‘13)

2013

Understand stormwater quantity
and quality issues surrounding
Pulaski Park

Set performance standards that
support regional plans

Identify and build project team

THE PPNSP PLAN
(Fall ‘13 - Winter ‘14)

Identify the most cost effective
strategies and locations for green
infrastructure

Create and implement a phased
approach that is inclusive of
multiple land use types and
owners (residential, industrial,
public sector)

Incorporate additional community
improvements leveraged by green
infrastructure

Include stakeholder involvement
throughout the planning and
implementation process

Implement early-out green
infrastructure projects

2014

PERFORMANCE
STANDARDS
1.

Reduce TSS loading from the project
area into the Kinnickinnic River by 80%

2.

Capture the first half inch of rainfall from
the project area and keep it in place

2015

IMPLEMENTATION AND
REVITALIZATION
(2015 and Beyond)

2016
8

Identify and secure sources of
funding for projects identified in
PPNSP

To the extent possible, overlap
with existing capital improvement
projects

Scale-up implementation of green
infrastructure

Identify and incorporate
additional community and park
improvements

PROJECT AREA
The project area is 108 acres and includes a variety of land uses, property owner types (public and private), separate and
combined sewer areas, and approximately 2,000 linear feet of a concrete channelized urban river. The KK River runs through
Milwaukee County’s Pulaski Park which occupies 25.9 acres of the project area and serves as the only green space in the
broader neighborhood region (see Figure 1). The Pulaski Park area is highly trafficked and sees over 8,500 cars per day along
S 16th Street alone. These combined site characteristics provide a unique space for project development and implementation.
The project area is divided into three zones: Residential Cluster, 16th Street Corridor, and Industrial Sector. These three
zones were born out of a project stakeholder workshop that asked members from Milwaukee County Parks, City of Milwaukee
DPW, MMSD, SSCHC, UEC, and GRAEF to specify ideal locations for a variety of green infrastructure elements. The
distinction of these three zones not only call for implementation within different land use types (e.g. residential, publicly-owned
land, industrial), but also creates an approachable implementation plan for stakeholders and funders.
While the Industrial Sector provides opportunities for green infrastructure, specific green infrastructure strategies for these
properties are outside of the project scope. As a follow-up to this PPNSP, specific stormwater management plans should look
to be completed in collaboration with individual industrial owners.

W. Lincoln Avenue

W
.W
in
dl
ak
e

Av
en
ue

RESIDENTIAL
CLUSTER

PULASKI PARK

16TH
STREET
CORRIDOR

Project Area
Green Infrastructure
Implementation Zones

INDUSTRIAL
SECTOR

Combined Sewer Area

0.1 miles

Figure 3.
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S. 16th Street

W. Cleveland Avenue

Free summer camp in Pulaski Park (top
image); Rain garden on residen al property
across from Pulaski Park (bo om image).

S. 20th Street

Figure 4.

Project area zones.

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THE CRITERIA
The Pulaski Park Neighborhood Stormwater Plan has integrated multiple stakeholder interests that will not only result in
improvements in stormwater management techniques and water quality, but also identify opportunities to leverage those
improvements and investments to have an impact on other quality of life indicators in the community. These include
enhancements to the Pulaski Park pavilion, increased use of the park, creation of a community hub, habitat restoration, water
conservation education, and green infrastructure on private property. Additionally, programs related to home improvement
resources available from the City can be leveraged in the project geography. The list below represents key criteria identified
by project partners that reflect how recommendations identified in the PPNSP can be strategically implemented on various
properties that will result in more impactful projects that benefit all stakeholders, public and private alike.
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)

Supports 2035 Vision

Captures the first half inch of rainfall from the project area in order to manage rain where it falls

Supports the Kinnickinnic River Flood Management Project and objectives

Enhances public safety

MS4 PERMIT

Milwaukee County

Helps meet MS4 permitted discharge requirements

Green infrastructure functions as a way to engage users of the park

Leverages green infrastructure for park improvements

Minimal maintenance requirements

City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW)

Helps meet MS4 permitted discharge requirements

Captures at least 50% TSS with an 80% capture goal

Supports Milwaukee’s Green Streets Stormwater Management Plan and
ReFresh Milwaukee Plan

Community

Creates stewardship for water resources

The MS4 permits require
municipalities to reduce
polluted stormwater runoff
by implementing stormwater
management programs with
best management practices.
Municipalities are required
to control the TSS carried
in stormwater from existing
urban areas as compared to
no controls. Compliance with
the standard is achieved by
implementing a system of
practices (including green
infrastructure) and activities.
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/stormwater/
municipal/overview.html

Addresses issues with crime and safety

Improves access and aesthetics of green space

Serves as a community hub (Pulaski Park)

Improves health outcomes through design and access to revitalized park

(last viewed: August 27th, 2014)

Other Criteria

Cost share – coordination and sharing of resources among multiple partners (such as the City and County) should be
given special consideration in order to promote examples of cost effective intergovernmental coordination.

Location – from a geographic standpoint, projects should occur in several different parts of the project area on different
types of land (e.g. an alley, street, private residence, and a park space), and places with high visibility.

Overlap with existing capital improvement projects (e.g. DPW paving schedule, Pulaski Park improvements) – since
the implementation of green infrastructure will almost always require additional resources, preferable projects are those
which overlap with anticipated expenditures (both capital and operating costs) or other funded projects.

Supports other regional planning efforts – since the implementation of green infrastructure will align with the mission
statements and goals of other public, private, and not-for-profit entities, opportunities should be selected that offer
considerable overlap or mutual support with those other missions and goals.

Leverage green infrastructure improvements - connect stormwater management to community revitalization needs (e.g.
park revitalization, habitat improvements, housing resources, community engagement)

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STAKEHOLDER
ENGAGEMENT

Community Input
Kinnickinnic River Corridor Neighborhood Plan
Over the past 20 years the KK River has experienced several
major storm events that have caused significant flooding
in the surrounding neighborhoods. MMSD has responded
with the implementation of the Kinnickinnic River Flood
Management Project which includes widening the channel
and removing the river’s concrete lining between Interstate
43 and S. 27th Street. To allow space for the wider channel,
83 buildings, primarily residential, will be acquired and
deconstructed or demolished. The work is estimated to
cost more than $65 million and be completed by 2020.
This substantial investment and neighborhood change
led to the development of the Kinnickinnic River Corridor
Neighborhood Plan, which lays out community supported
recommendations for neighborhood improvement projects
which will complement the MMSD investment and improve
the quality of life for residents.

Public Sector Support
A key component of the Pulaski Park Neighborhood
Stormwater Plan is creating broad support among multiple
agencies and levels of jurisdiction. This is critical since
many aspects of creating a sustainable community
depend on higher levels of coordination and mutual
reinforcement of concepts and outcomes. Maintaining
a strong political consensus is, in many ways, the key
to long-term sustainability. As budgets and resources
are increasingly sought after by competing needs, it is
important to implement projects that can rely on more than
one source of funding and that meet multiple stakeholder
needs. Funding needs to include financing from public
jurisdictions as well as support from the private sector,
foundations, and other nonprofit organizations.

Quality of life recommendations are grouped into
five categories: River Restoration; Neighborhood
Development; Transportation & Circulation; Parks &
Open Spaces; and Community Involvement, Education
& Stewardship. The PPNSP addresses several of
these recommendations, including river restoration,
transportation and parks related investments. Many of
these projects are implemented under the direction of
the Kinnickinnic River Implementation Coalition. The
Coalition is comprised of the Sixteenth Street Community
Health Centers, the Southside Organizing Committee,
Groundwork Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Christian Center.
Projects are supported and vetted by the KK River
Neighbors in Action neighborhood association.

The PPNSP will not only help Milwaukee County and the
City of Milwaukee meet their stormwater regulatory goals
in a cost effective and community driven manner, but also
assist in identifying other quality of life improvements that
will be realized through the phased implementation of this
Plan.

We use our four rain barrels for everything from watering our plants
to mopping the kitchen floor and we love them! The neighbors have
been interested in the barrels as well. My neighbor has basement
backup issues, so he would love to have one of his own.
-KK River Resident

Figure 5.

Stakeholder workshop.

Figure 6.
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Residen al rain barrel workshop.

Continued Stakeholder and Community Engagement

Engaging the entire community creates a vision for the future based on people’s
and businesses’ needs, desires, and aspirations. This vision guides the plan and
ultimately implementation. A sustainable communities and green infrastructure
plan will touch nearly every aspect of a community’s design. Involving a wide
range of community members in developing both the vision and the plan creates
broad support and encourages multiple champions to emerge to handle different
aspects of implementation. Such broad-based involvement also helps ensure
people from all walks of life, including vulnerable and disadvantaged populations,
can share in the benefits that come from implementing a green infrastructure plan.

Quote from Enhancing Sustainable Communities with Green Infrastructure
www.epa.gov/smartgrowth page 4

Community input was sought throughout the development
of the Plan and is outlined on the following pages.
February-December 2014
The plan was presented and discussed at monthly KK
River Neighbors In Action neighborhood association
meetings. During this time, residents received project
updates, provided feedback, comments, and were invited
to participate in additional meetings.
June-September 2014
Administration of bilingual surveys to better understand
how people currently use the park, how often they use
the park and changes they would like to see. 125 surveys
were administered at community events and door-to-door.
Detailed survey results can be found in Appendix B.

Figure 7.

Neighbors in Ac on mee ng.

Figure 8.

Rain barrel recipient.

June 2014
A rain barrel giveaway and workshop invited 20 residents
to learn about the PPNSP project, how it fits in with other
flood management efforts, and learn how clustering green
infrastructure on residential properties in conjunction with
larger efforts (e.g. green alleys) can have a significant
impact on reducing flooding and creating environmental
stewardship.
July 2014
A community design charrette was held at Pulaski
Park Pool where 25 residents who had participated in
past programs or events were strategically invited to
provide in depth feedback on the direction of the plan
and park revitalization efforts. In addition to residents,
other stakeholders were invited in order to ensure that
multiple user needs would be met through this plan.
Stakeholders included Milwaukee County Parks, local
schools, organizations who use the park for structured
events (i.e. soccer clubs), and users that primarily use the
pool. This community design charrette offered a way for

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all users to hear each other, understand the opportunities
associated with this project, and provide feedback on
maintenance, aesthetics, and additional improvements.
Short, mid and long term goals were discussed as a group
and immediate next steps were identified with residents
that included participation in monthly neighborhood
association meetings, opportunities to start a “Friends of
Pulaski Park” group with help from the local Park People
organization, and an invitation to the follow up community
design charrette that took place in the fall.
October 2014
A neighborhood fall clean up was held where residents
took tours of the park with naturalists, cleaned up litter
in the surrounding neighborhood, and planted a large
rain garden next to the pavilion which demonstrates how
multiple best management practices (cisterns, permeable
pavement, native plantings, and soil amendments) can
be combined to manage stormwater in an aesthetically
pleasing way. Bi-lingual signage was installed which
outlines how this installation improves water quality which
will positively impact the watershed and Lake Michigan.
Residents provided feedback on the signs as well as the
plant choices.
November 2014
A large community open house took place where residents
voted and provided input on green infrastructure installation
on public and private property, youth programming and park
revitalization. Residents 100% supported the installation
of green infrastructure on public and private property and
the majority indicated that they would be willing to help
maintain the installations. Information gathered at the
open house will help partners better address community
needs, identify future programming opportunities, and
implement community supported green infrastructure.

Figure 12.

Open house at the Pulaski Park pavilion.
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Figure 9.

Community design charre e.

Figure 10.

Rain garden plants at Pulaski Park.

Figure 11.

Bilingual educa ons signage at Pulaski Park.

Figure 13.

Open house at the Pulaski Park pavilion.

GREEN
INFRASTRUCTURE
RECOMMENDATIONS

RAINWATER HARVESTING
Rainwater harvesting systems capture rainwater and store
it for reuse. Examples include rain barrels and cisterns.

The project team discussed a large number of potential
green infrastructure techniques that would be applicable in
the project area. The list was eventually narrowed down to
eight techniques based on their variety of implementation
possibilities, scale, cost, ability to fit the local context, and
supporting nature of regional goals. They include:







Rainwater Harvesting (rain barrels or cisterns)
Rain Gardens
Stormwater Trees
Permeable Pavements
Bioswales
Deep Sump Catch Basins
Biofiltration Basins
Synthetic Turf Field with Sub-grade Drainage System

The images to the right are organized from top (private
residential) to bottom (public rights-of-way and private
commercial/industrial) according to the typical land use
associated with the specific green infrastructure element.
For instance, rainwater harvesting (rain barrels) and
rain gardens would most likely be located within private,
residential properties. Permeable pavements, bioswales,
biofiltration basins and catch basins are most often found
within public rights-of-way or private, commercial and/
or industrial properties. However, it is important to note
that for the purpose of this project, the eight different
green infrastructure elements are not bound to the above
location descriptions. Rather, the variety of different
land uses within the project area show the need for a
specific assortment of green infrastructure elements
and demonstrate an opportunity for public and private
collaboration. The following pages identify existing
conditions related to stormwater quality as well as quantity.
Green infrastructure strategies have been identified for
each subarea, as well as their corresponding impact.

RAIN GARDENS
Rain gardens are biofiltration systems that have no
underground components and the stormwater is
infiltrated into the soil.

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STORMWATER TREES

DEEP SUMP CATCH BASIN

Stormwater trees hold rainwater on their leaves and
branches, infiltrate it into the ground, absorb it through
root systems and evapotranspire it into the atmosphere.

Deep sump catch basins are specifically designed for
sediment and pollutant removal.

PERMEABLE PAVEMENTS

BIOFILTRATION BASINS

Permeable pavements are asphalt or concrete that
contains voids that allow stormwater to infiltrate to
a gravel sub layer which stores water and promotes
infiltration into the soil and/or optional underdrain.

A biofiltration basin is an infiltration device that consists
of a depression with a vegetated layer, a mulch layer,
several layers of sand, soil, an organic media filter bed,
an overflow, and an optional underdrain.

BIOSWALES

TURF WITH SUB-GRADE DRAINAGE SYSTEM

Bioswales are vegetated open channels that are designed
to attenuate and treat stormwater runoff for a defined
water volume.

An underground drainage system is an integral component
of a synthetic turf system, and is designed to treat and
carry away the water that percolates through the turf.

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GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE COST ESTIMATES
The cost of implementing individual green infrastructure elements will fall onto both private and public stakeholders. Balancing
the estimated costs with future benefits/outcomes will be important for all stakeholders looking to dedicate dollars towards
the construction of green infrastructure. A variety of cost sources (i.e. MMSD, Environmental Protection Agency, Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources) as well as professional judgment on behalf of the planning consultant were used to develop
the green infrastructure costs shown below.

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNIQUE

CAPITAL COST ESTIMATES1

Rain Barrel (55-gallon)

$80 to $120 per barrel

Rain Cistern

$1,000 to $10,000 depending on size and material

Rain Garden

$5 to $10 per square foot

Stormwater Tree

$200 to $340 per tree

Permeable Pavement

$9 to $12 per square foot

Bioswale

$5 to $15 per square foot

Deep Sump Catch Basin

$2,000 to $3,000 per precast basin

Biofiltration Basin

$5 to $15 per square foot

Turf with Sub-Grade Drainage System2

$3 to $4 per square foot (base); $4 to $6 per square foot (turf)

FIRST ORDER COSTS = SECOND ORDER BENEFITS
In a cost-benefit analysis, the initial capital expense is viewed as a “first order” cost. Such expenditures, however, actually
become a benefit to the individuals and businesses that receive those funds. This secondary impact can be construed
as a “second order” benefit. That is, every cost and benefit has a multiplier effect many times over. In the case of green
infrastructure implementation in the plan area, the multiplier effect may represent a substantial value.
For example, many operational expenditures are opportunities for new jobs and neighborhood activities. While rain gardens
may cost more than other best management practices such as rain barrels, they may have many implicit benefits in which
more community residents are engaged. The implementation of bioswales could be constructed within curb bump-outs and
have second order benefits including traffic calming and safety. Also, every gallon of water that does not require further
treatment, may save funds by reducing subsequent costs for treating quality or costs for a reduced volume of water.
Second order benefits also address triple-bottom-line elements. That is, the second order costs and benefits all have
consequences in terms of social, economic, and future environmental changes (see chapter on Triple Bottom Line Impact).
For these reasons, the size and impact of long-term multiplier effects generated from best management practices should be
given full consideration.

1 Cost estimates are to be used for planning purposes only. The actual construction costs can vary dramatically depending on the scope of work to be performed, varying costs of materials
and labor access, schedule of work, and other site restrictions.
2 Design of athletic field with sub-grade drainage system requires a number of other elements that will add to the overall cost of construction (e.g. concrete curbing, connecting sub-grade
drainage system to existing storm sewer).

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EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

What’s WinSLAMM?

As part of this plan, the City of Milwaukee performed
WinSLAMM analysis for the proposed green infrastructure
elements listed on page 14. This analysis not only gives
information on the existing water quality and quantity
issues, but also shows the predicted environmental
outcomes of implementing specific green infrastructure
within the three zones. The modeling output for each
subarea includes the following:

WinSLAMM (Source Loading and Management Model
for Windows) is the only Urban Stormwater Quality
Model that evaluates runoff volume and pollution
loading for each source area within each land use for
each rainfall event. It does not lump impervious areas
together nor does it lump all the areas in a single
land use together. Evaluation at the source area level
allows stormwater quality professionals to target the
highest loading areas and recommend improvements
to reduce runoff volume and pollution loading from
those areas.

• TSS Reduction
• Phosphorus Reduction
• Volume Reduction (based on the average
annual rainfall)
• Volume Reduction (based on the first 1/2” of rainfall)

WinSLAMM can be used to answer questions such as:
Existing conditions show a total of over 35,000 pounds
of TSS enters the sewer system or KK River untreated.
The long term vision of the Pulaski Park Neighborhood
Stormwater Plan, which includes the total buildout of
multiple green infrastructure elements, results in a 50%
reduction in TSS, 42% phosphorus reduction, capturing of
45% of the volume associated with the of the first half inch
of rainfall, and 20% reduction of average annual rainfall
directly entering the storm sewer or KK River. Pages 2227 show greater detail for the three subareas.

• How effective are stormwater control measures in reducing
runoff and pollutant loadings?
• What are the most cost-effective solutions for meeting urban
stormwater quality objectives?
• What type of, and how big should, stormwater control measures
be and where should they be located?
www.winslamm.com

Land Use Totals

Building

Parking

Driveway

Sidewalk

Street

Alley

Landscape

Total Acres

90.09

26.51

6.66

0.8

4.08

14.18

2.6

34.93

Percent Area

100%

29%

7%

1%

5%

16%

3%

39%

TSS - total lbs:

35,300

5,800

6,500

654

1,500

14,900

2,246

3,700

Percent TSS:

100%

17%

18%

2%

4%

6%

42%

11%

Phos. - total lbs:

84

18

7

2

4

31

6

16

Percent Phos.

100%

21%

8%

2%

5%

37%

7%

20%

Total volume cf:

5,181,000

2,550,200

470,200

62,874

322,200

1,283,500

231,426

260,600

Percent volume

100%

49%

9%

1%

6%

25%

5%

5%

Total volume cf:

100,112

47,623

12,081

1,448

7,409

25,732

5,324

Percent volume

100%

48%

12%

2%

7%

26%

5%

Figure 14.

Table showing the exis ng output data according to land use.

17

Land Use
Area
TSS

Phosphorus
Volume

(avg. annual)

Volume
(1st 1/2”)

EXISTING CONDITIONS SUMMARY

Figure 15.

Bar graph showing the exis ng output data according to land use.

Disclaimer / Assumptions / Notes1

Exact drainage areas must be investigated for each BMP for more
accurate TSS and volume removals

Average porosity of stone in permeable pavement = 27.3%

Storage depth in permeable pavement = 30 inches, 2.5 feet

Bioswale average porosity = 41.25%

Storage depth in biofilter = 2 feet

Permeable pavement cleaned 3x per year

Permeable pavement storage assumed under entire permeable
pavement area only

1 The notes listed here apply to all summary tables throughout the report.

18

80% TSS removal goal from 1.5 feet or greater of engineered soil

2.5 feet sump, 3 feet wide catch basin

Rain gardens = 10 feet x10 feet

Driveway permeable section of 5 feet x10 feet

1/2 inch rain = impervious area x 0.5 inches

Volume calculations are based on the “average annual rainfall”.
The average annual rainfall for the Milwaukee area is based on the
year 1969, which has a total rainfall of 33 inches for the entire year.

INTERVENTION SUMMARY
Land Use Totals

Building

Parking

Driveway

Sidewalk

Street

Alley

Landscape

Total Acres

90.09

26.51

6.66

0.8

4.08

14.18

2.6

34.93

Percent Area

100%

29%

7%

1%

5%

16%

3%

39%

TSS - total lbs:

35,300

5,800

6,500

654

1,500

14,900

2,246

3,700

Percent TSS:

100%

17%

18%

2%

4%

6%

42%

11%

Total lbs out:

17,600

% reduction:

50%

Phos. - total lbs:

84

18

7

2

4

31

6

16

Percent Phos.

100%

21%

8%

2%

5%

37%

7%

20%

Total lbs out:

48

% reduction:

42%

Total volume cf:

5,181,000

2,550,200

470,200

62,874

322,200

1,283,500

231,426

260,600

Percent volume

100%

49%

9%

1%

6%

25%

5%

5%

Total volume cf out:

4,220,000

% reduction:

20%

Total volume cf:

100,112

47,623

12,081

1,448

7,409

25,732

5,324

48%

12%

2%

7%

26%

5%

Percent volume

100%

total volume cf out:

55,035

% reduction:

45%

Figure 16.

Land Use
Area

TSS

Phosphorus

Volume

(avg. annual)

Volume
(1st 1/2”)

December 2014 WinSLAMM table showing the overall TSS, phosphorus, and volume
reduc on numbers for the en re project area.

TSS Reduction

50%

Phosphorus Reduction

42%

Volume Reduction (avg. annual)

20%

Volume Reduction (1st 1/2”)

45%

19

PRIORITY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IMPLEMENTATION SELECTED BY PROJECT PARTNERS
As mentioned previously, the Pulaski Park Neighborhood Stormwater Plan project area is divided into three zones: Residential
Cluster, 16th Street Corridor, and Industrial Sector. These three zones were born out of a project stakeholder workshop that
asked members from Milwaukee County Parks, City of Milwaukee DPW, MMSD, SSCHC, UEC, and GRAEF to specify ideal
locations for a variety of green infrastructure elements. The distinction of these three zones not only call for implementation within
different land use types (e.g. residential, publicly-owned land, industrial), but also creates an approachable implementation
plan for stakeholders and funders.
The map to the right shows the outcome of the stakeholder workshop and represents the ideal location of green infrastructure
implementation for this project. Green infrastructure is focused on highly visible areas such as along S. 16th Street and
adjacent to existing Milwaukee County buildings. Portions of land adjacent to the KK River were purposefully avoided due to
the planned improvements that are part of MMSD’s KK River Flood Management Project. Additionally, areas of the park with
steep slopes and dense tree canopies were also excluded from consideration for potential green infrastructure.
After the ideal green infrastructure map was completed by the project team, the City of Milwaukee performed WinSLAMM
analysis to better understand the technical outcomes of the green infrastructure elements. While the ideal plan falls short of
meeting the performance standard of 50% TSS removal as identified on page 10, the plan on the right does address a majority
of other important stakeholder criteria.
Land Use Totals

Building

Parking

Driveway

Sidewalk

Street

Alley

Landscape

Total Acres

90.09

26.51

6.66

0.8

4.08

14.18

2.6

34.93

TSS - total lbs:

35,300

5,800

6,500

654

1,500

14,900

2,246

3,700

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

29,500 SF
permeable
pavement;
biofilters (2);
catch basins (2)

44,640 SF
permeable
pavement
& biofilters
(12)

11,80 SF
permeable
pavement

biofilters
(1) &
synthetic
turf field

GI Treatment:

Total lbs out:

23,600

5,200

4,000

7,100

1,595

3,500

% reduction:

34%

10%

38%

48%

39%

6%

Phos. - total lbs:

84

18

7

31

6

16

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

29,500 SF
permeable
pavement;
biofilters (2);
catch basins (2)

44,640 SF
permeable
pavement
& biofilters
(12)

11,80 SF
permeable
pavement

biofilters
(1) &
synthetic
turf field

GI Treatment:

2

4

Total lbs out:

61

16

5

16

4

14

% reduction:

27%

11%

29%

49%

34%

12%

Total volume cf:

5,181,000

2,550,200

470,200

1,283,500

231,426

260,600

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

29,500 SF
permeable
pavement;
biofilters (2);
catch basins (2)

44,640 SF
permeable
pavement
& biofilters
(12)

11,80 SF
permeable
pavement

biofilters
(1) &
synthetic
turf field

GI Treatment:

62,874

322,200

Total volume cf out:

4,580,000

2,307,220

400,497

1,035,200

203,637

238,400

% reduction:

13%

10%

15%

20%

12%

9%

Total volume cf:

100,112

47,623

12,081

25,732

5,324

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

29,500 SF
permeable
pavement;
biofilters (2);
catch basins (2)

44,640 SF
permeable
pavement
& biofilters
(12)

11,80 SF
permeable
pavement

GI Treatment:

1,448

7,409

biofilters
(1) &
synthetic
turf field

total volume cf out:

73,200

39,704

7,140

14,276

4,069

n/a

% reduction:

27%

17%

41%

45%

14%

n/a

Figure 17.

Priority green infrastructure interven on summary table.
20

TSS
Reduction

34%
Phosphorous
Reduction

27%
Volume
Reduction
(avg. annual)

13%
Volume
Reduction
(1st 1/2”)

27%

PRIORITY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IMPLEMENTATION SELECTED BY PROJECT PARTNERS

0.1 miles

Figure 18.

N

Green infrastructure implementa on map (Project partner priori es).
21

SUPPLEMENTARY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN PURSUIT OF REACHING PROJECT GOALS
In order to get closer to the goal of 80% TSS reduction for the entire project area, the City performed additional WinSLAMM
analysis that increased the number of green infrastructure elements located throughout the project area. The following pages
break down each sub-area and show the outcomes for TSS reduction, phosphorus reduction, volume reduction (based on the
average annual rainfall), and volume reduction (based on the first 1/2” of rainfall).

RESIDENTIAL CLUSTER

Residential Cluster
The challenge for this area is sizing and locating
green infrastructure within a high density of
residential homes. 33% of the Residential
Cluster is comprised of roof surface area.
Green infrastructure elements modeled for this
area include rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable
pavements, soil amendments, and bioswales.
Bioswales are located adjacent to existing bus
stops and entrances into Pulaski Park and are
designed to capture and treat stormwater from
the adjacent W. Windlake Avenue. Given the
narrow terrace space within the City of Milwaukee
public right-of-way, bioswales have been shown
outside of the existing right-of-way within Pulaski
Park (Milwaukee County owned) where there is
greater space for larger-sized basins. Permeable
pavements are shown along all of the on-street
parking areas as well as in every public alley.
Alleys identified in orange have already been
funded by MMSD and the City of Milwaukee.
This project includes substantial community
engagement and implementation of permeable
“green” alleys in 2015. Porous sidewalks located
at the end of residential driveways have also
been modeled.

I N DUSTRIAL
D U S T R I A L SECT
SSEC
E C TTO
OR
INDUSTRIAL
SECTOR
Figure 19.

1 6 T H SSTT R E E T
CORRIDOR

Green infrastructure implementa on map for Residen al Cluster (Supplementary Solu on).

22

RESIDENTIAL CLUSTER INTERVENTION SUMMARY
Land Use Totals

Building

Parking

Driveway

Sidewalk

Street

Alley

Landscape

Total Acres

57.82

19.79

1.95

0.46

2.67

9.68

2.94

20.34

TSS - total lbs:

19,200

4,600

1,300

300

1,000

7,500

2,300

2,200

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

permeable
pavement

porous
sidewalk

permeable
pavement
& biofilter
(4)

permeable
pavement

GI treatment:

TSS
Reduction

total lbs out:

9,900

4,000

400

290

1,300

1,707

1,000

% reduction:

48%

13%

69%

4%

83%

27%

62%

Phos. - total lbs:

53

15

1.8

0.9

17.3

5.4

9.8

GI treatment:

2.4

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

permeable
pavement

porous
sidewalk

total lbs out:

31

13.2

0.5

0.8

% reduction:

41%

12%

71%

12%

Total volume cf:

3,640,000

1,975,900

154,000

36,800

GI treatment:

2.4

210,900

permeable
pavement
& biofilter
(4)

permeable
pavement

3.1

2.2

82%

63%

876,600

231,400

permeable
pavement

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

permeable
pavement

porous
sidewalk

permeable
pavement
& biofilter
(4)

total volume cf out:

2,970,000

1,729,100

111,900

35,600

564,200

198,200

% reduction:

19%

12%

27%

4%

36%

25%

Total volume cf:

68,033

35,916

3,536

1,104

17,565

5,324

permeable
pavement
& biofilter
(4)

permeable
pavement

rain
gardens
(150); rain
barrels
(150)

GI treatment:

permeable
pavement

4,847

porous
sidewalk

total volume cf out:

34,179

28,570

0

846

0

0

% reduction:

50%

20%

100%

30%

100%

100%

Figure 20.

48%
Phosphorous
Reduction

9.8

152,800

41%
Volume
Reduction
(avg. annual)

19%
Volume
Reduction
(1st 1/2”)

50%

December 2014 WinSLAMM table showing the different green infrastructure used to reduce the TSS,
phosphorus and volume within the Residen al Cluster zone.

23

16th Street Corridor
Green infrastructure elements modeled for
this area include rain cisterns, rain gardens,
stormwater trees, permeable pavements,
biofiltration basins, and an athletic field with
synthetic turf and a sub-grade drainage system.
Bioswales are primarily located within the terrace
spaces of S. 16th Street on both sides of the
street. The west side of S. 16th Street between
W. Windlake Avenue and W. Cleveland Avenue
shows the replacement of impervious on-street
parking with either bioswales or permeable
pavement. Community input on whether retaining
existing on-street parking is desired will determine
the final green infrastructure implementation
method used. Green infrastructure can also be
used to identify and support other community
projects such as traffic calming measures,
increased crossing visibility, and improvements
in multi-modal transportation such as bike lanes.

R EESID
RESIDENTIAL
S I D E N T I A L CCLUSTER
LU S T E R

The southwest corner of W. Cleveland Avenue
and S. 16th Street contains a number of green
infrastructure elements including biofiltration
basins, permeable paving within new parking
areas for the pool building, rain cistern to
collect water that falls on the pool building, and
stormwater trees located along the edge of the
KK River.
Green infrastructure north of Cleveland Avenue
within Pulaski Park includes a biofiltration basin
towards the north end of the park, a rain cistern,
rain garden, and permeable pavement surface
adjacent to the pavilion, and a redesigned athletic
field that would be designed to store and/or treat
stormwater using a sub-grade drainage system
(not modeled).

I N DUSTRIAL
INDUSTRIAL
D U S T R I A L SECT
SSEC
SECTOR
E C TTO
OR
Figure 21.

16TH STREET
CORRIDOR

Green infrastructure implementa on map for 16th Street Corridor (Supplementary Solu on).

24

16TH STREET CORRIDOR INTERVENTION SUMMARY
Land Use Totals

Building

Parking

Driveway

Sidewalk

Street

Alley

Landscape

Total Acres

20.14

2.37

0.97

0.33

1.14

3.39

0

11.94

TSS - total lbs:

7,600

500

600

4,400

1,200

rain
gardens
(10); rain
cisterns
(2); biofilter

permeable
pavement

permeable
pavement
& biofilters

biofilter;
synthetic
turf field

GI treatment:

total lbs out:

3,700

400

200

1,500

900

% reduction:

51%

20%

67%

66%

25%

Phos. - total lbs:

20

1.59

0.88

10.04

5.57

rain
gardens
(10); rain
cisterns
(2); biofilter

permeable
pavement

permeable
pavement
& biofilters

biofilter;
synthetic
turf field

GI treatment:

total lbs out:

11

1.43

0.22

3.51

4.19

% reduction:

46%

10%

75%

65%

25%

Total volume cf:

820,000

209,200

76,600

306,400

87,600

rain
gardens
(10); rain
cisterns
(2); biofilter

permeable
pavement

permeable
pavement
& biofilters

biofilter;
synthetic
turf field

GI treatment:

total volume cf out:

570,000

187,500

48,600

152,400

65,500

% reduction:

30%

10%

37%

50%

25%

Total volume cf:

14,870

3,798

1,758

6,145

42,340

rain
gardens
(10); rain
cisterns
(2); biofilter

permeable
pavement

permeable
pavement
& biofilters

biofilter;
synthetic
turf field

GI treatment:

total volume cf out:

8,853

2,667

0

3,512

0

% reduction:

40%

30%

100%

43%

100%

Figure 22.

TSS
Reduction

51%
Phosphorous
Reduction

46%
Volume
Reduction
(avg. annual)

30%
Volume
Reduction
(1st 1/2”)

40%

December 2014 WinSLAMM table showing the different green infrastructure used to reduce the TSS,
phosphorus and volume within the 16th Street Corridor zone.

25

Industrial Sector
The Industrial Sector contains a high quantity of
TSS, phosphorus, and stormwater volume, and is
thus included in the analysis of the overall project
area. While recommended green infrastructure
strategies including permeable
pavements,
bioswales and catch basins are shown in the
figure to the right, the individual industrial
property owners have not been engaged as
part of this planning process. Therefore, the
green infrastructure strategies shown are strictly
conceptual in nature and should be used as a
tool for future discussions with the appropriate
stakeholders.

R EESID
RESIDENTIAL
S I D E N T I A L CCLUSTER
LU S T E R

INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
Figure 23.

1 6 T H SSTT R E E T
CCO
CORRIDOR
ORRIDOR

Green infrastructure implementa on map for 16th Street Corridor (Supplementary Solu on).

26

INDUSTRIAL SECTOR INTERVENTION SUMMARY
Land Use Totals

Building

Parking

Driveway

Sidewalk

Street

Alley

Landscape

Total Acres

12.13

4.36

3.74

0

0.27

1.11

0

2.65

TSS - total lbs:

8,700

700

4,600

100

3,000

permeable
pavement;
biofilter;
catch
basins (2)

GI treatment:

total lbs out:

4,100

2,500

500

53%

46%

83%

Phos. - total lbs:

11

4.7

0.2

permeable
pavement;
biofilter;
catch
basins (2)

GI treatment:

3.5

total lbs out:

6

2.6

0.6

44%

45%

83%

Total volume cf:

800,000

GI treatment:

294,600

21,300

100,500

permeable
pavement;
biofilter;
catch
basins (2)

permeable
pavement

total volume cf out:

680,000

196,300

72,400

% reduction:

15%

33%

28%

Total volume cf:

17,209

7,909

6,788

490

permeable
pavement;
biofilter;
catch
basins (2)

GI treatment:

2,022

permeable
pavement

total volume cf out:

12,003

3,604

0

% reduction:

30%

47%

100%

Figure 24.

53%
1.3

Phosphorous
Reduction

permeable
pavement

% reduction:

365,100

TSS
Reduction

permeable
pavement

% reduction:

1.5

300

44%
20,200

Volume
Reduction
(avg. annual)

15%
Volume
Reduction
(1st 1/2”)

30%

December 2014 WinSLAMM table showing the different green infrastructure used to reduce the TSS,
phosphorus and volume within the Industrial Sector zone.

27

HABITAT
IMPROVEMENTS
AND STEWARDSHIP

Improving aquatic and terrestrial communities in Pulaski Park and along the river corridor will foster community engagement,
enhance the physical landscape and impact the health of the river. Habitat improvements aesthetically enrich greenspaces
and draw people to a welcoming, comfortable, and beautiful greenspace.
Implementation of the recommendations listed below will:
1. Stabilize soil to minimize erosion and sediment entering the KK River.
2.

Hold water in place for evaporation, transpiration, allow for natural absorption, and reduce flooding and
stormwater runoff.

3.

Lessen the urban heat island effect and allow waterways to retain more oxygen.

4.

Increase community knowledge, stewardship and use of Pulaski Park.

Proposed habitat recommendations include:

Milwaukee County Parks creating an adaptive restoration and management plan with input from the community and
community partners. This would include a site description, goals, objectives, a community vision map and an iterative
process for long-term monitoring and management.

Establishing areas open to the community for permaculture harvesting (fruit and nut trees, berries) in underutilized
areas (e.g. tennis courts).

Removing problem exotic plant species such as Common Buckthorn, Teasel, Garlic Mustard and replace with
water-loving and soil-stabilizing native species (willow, birch, sedges, forbs).

Planting a line of mixed native stormwater trees (Red Maple, Silver Maple, Yellow Birch, Swamp White Oak) along the
river corridor south of W. Cleveland Avenue.

Building stewardship includes:

Creating access to natural areas by extending the Kinnickinnic River Trail through existing forest sections on the west
side of the river, with clear points of access to the river for activities such as fishing and environmental education.

Engaging community in green infrastructure design and development through a unique iterative process with partners
(landscape architects, policy makers, land owners).

Initiating a Friends of Pulaski Park or similar group.

Conducting stewardship and citizen science events to bring users into the park and provide hands-on learning
experiences (e.g. environmental education, Bio-blitzes, river clean-ups, planting days).

Incorporating bilingual signage that explains habitat improvements and green infrastructure.

CITIZEN SCIENCE IN PULASKI PARK
The goal of Citizen Science programming is to create a space where community members and partners can
engage in monitoring and research that will support specific aquatic and terrestrial habitat improvements, create
an understanding of the urban ecosystem, and build stewardship of the KK River and surrounding neighborhood.
Programming opportunities specific to Pulaski Park may include bird walks or bird banding, invasive species
removal, monitoring with wildlife cameras, turtle and small mammal monitoring, water cycle curriculum and
snake board programs. These programs can be offered as one time events or as seasonal programs.

28

TRIPLE BOTTOM
LINE IMPACT

INCORPORATING THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE OF SUSTAINABILITY
Traditional infrastructure is designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment. Green infrastructure not
only addresses stormwater quantity like that of traditional ‘grey’ infrastructure, it also can help communities protect the
environment and human health while providing additional social and economic benefits. Using this comprehensive approach
allows neighborhoods to get more out of capital investments and allows municipalities to achieve multiple goals with a single
investment. The Environmental Protection Agency has begun to explore the potential for green infrastructure to revitalize
struggling communities while advancing water quality goals by incorporating the triple bottom line of sustainability. This triple
bottom line approach addresses stormwater quality and creates potential for other environmental, social and economic
advantages which benefit residents, municipalities and the public at large.
This Plan highlights the opportunity and impact of incorporating the triple bottom line into green infrastructure development
and implementation. For this planning effort the environmental outcomes of green infrastructure were equally as important
as the community impact and economic opportunities that are likely to be integrated and realized as part of this Plan. The
following pages outline these opportunities, in addition to water resource outcomes identified in the Green Infrastructure
Recommendations section, which could be leveraged by the implementation of green infrastructure elements in and around
the Pulaski Park Neighborhood.

Figure 25.

Sustainability using triple bo om line approach.
29

BROADER ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
In addition to stormwater management, there are a number of additional environmental impacts that are associated with green
infrastructure1. They include:

Reduced municipal water use

Ground water recharge

Flood risk mitigation

Increased resilience to climate change impacts such as heavier rainfalls, hotter temperatures, and higher storm surges

Reduced ground-level ozone

Reduced particulate pollution

Reduced air temperatures in developed areas

Reduced energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions

Improved public health from reduced air pollution and increased physical activity

Increased space for recreation

Figure 26.

Example of passive recrea onal space in Portland, OR.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY IMPACT
Substantial social benefits have been connected to green infrastructure in cities across the country. These additional benefits
include encouraging redevelopment, attracting investments, providing recreational opportunities, and improving public
health. Studies have shown that an enhanced connection to the natural environment contributes to the health and safety of
neighborhoods. Programs and projects that incorporate environmental education specific to the neighborhood can help place
residents in a position to make informed decisions about their neighborhood and can help residents shape how the community
looks and functions over the next 2-20 years.
As noted earlier, Pulaski Park is the only green space in this densely populated area. Because the recommendations outlined
in this plan are intended to be implemented in a phased approach, the community impacts listed on the following page have
been separated into two separate spaces; the neighborhood at large and Pulaski Park proper.

Note: The Pulaski Park opportunities were identified through project team meetings, community meetings, events, informal
conversations and importantly, as a result of survey administration in the community. More information on the process and
specific data can be found in Appendix B.
1

Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure, EPA, P.6

30

Neighborhood Opportunities

Educational opportunities for residents, businesses,
and organizations

Community building opportunities (project discussion
and development with neighborhood association,
neighborhood branding, community meetings)

Traffic calming and improved street crossings

Improving transportation options (walking, biking,
public transit)

Strengthen community sense of place

Improved aesthetics of the neighborhood

Public art

Bike share program

Seating areas

Educational signage

Figure 29.

Figure 27.

Educa onal opportuni es at Open House.

Figure 28.

Example of traffic calming opportunity for
streets within the project area.

Public art pillars located along the Kinnickinnic River Trail.
31

Pulaski Park Revitalization Opportunities

Repairs and restoration to the Pulaski Park pavilion
The community has little to no options for WHERE
the opportunities listed in this Plan could be
discussed, implemented, or hosted. The restoration
of the pavilion is the key to providing a space for
programming, discussion, events, and activities for
the community. Residents are interested in renting
a restored pavilion for parties or a market space.

Creating a community hub

Habitat restoration and improvements

Educational programming (e.g. Environmental
education, art classes)

Events (e.g. River clean ups, community meetings)

Formation of a ‘park friends’ type group

Extension of the Kinnickinnic River Trail

Health programming (e.g. Zumba, yoga, and
exercise machines)

Home and community resource fairs

Youth programming and opportunities (e.g. ‘Safe
kids area’, soccer)

Skate park

Futsal court

Citizen science

Community gardens

Dog walking areas

Figure 31.

UEC Ci zen Science group in Riverside Park.

32

Figure 30.

Hiking on the KK River.

Figure 32.

Community garden ac vi es.

ECONOMIC IMPACT
Green infrastructure can save money compared to traditional ‘grey’ infrastructure because it can help sewers function better.
Specific to the Pulaski Park Neighborhood, benefits that can be leveraged or added include access to home improvement
resources and attracting investments. The Pulaski Park Targeted Investment Neighborhood is a designation from the City of
Milwaukee that allows residents to apply for no interest, partially forgivable home repair loans. Repair costs could include new
gutter systems that disconnect from the storm sewers and energy and water efficient appliances.
MMSD has identified and quantified how large scale implementation of green infrastructure in their service area can substantially
affect the triple bottom line. Below are estimates of how the large scale implementation of green infrastructure is expected to
have an impact in the greater Milwaukee area. Although the scale of this impact will be substantially less in the Pulaski Park
Neighborhood, the areas for impact will be similar to those listed below.
Infrastructure Savings: Green infrastructure saves $44 million in infrastructure costs in the combined sewer service area
compared to constructing more Deep Tunnel storage. Achieving the goal of the first half inch of capture in any given storm
using green infrastructure will reduce basement backups and sewer overflows.
Green Job Opportunities: Green infrastructure develops over 500 green maintenance jobs at full implementation and 160
construction jobs on average each year.
Property Values: Green infrastructure increases property values by an estimated $447 million throughout the MMSD
planning area. Strategies such as rain gardens and stormwater trees can increase property values because of the aesthetic
enhancement they provide to a neighborhood.

Figure 33.

Job training in green infrastructure.

33

CONCLUSION

The project team approached this planning effort with a goal of reaching two bold performance standards that when achieved,
would change the Kinnickinnic River, watershed, and surrounding community for generations. Through months of discussion
and computer modeling, it was concluded that achieving those performance standards would require substantial investments
and considerable changes to the built and natural environments. In cities covered in concrete, managing stormwater is a
challenge faced by municipalities all over the country. This plan has demonstrated that it is crucial for partners to begin
discussions, coordinate efforts, and build consensus around goals and strategies as early as possible in order to get the most
out of investments. The implementation of this plan at all scales will move that needle in the right direction. The projects that
have resulted as part of early implementation are telling of the dedication of partners and support from the community.
Achieving the full build out of recommendations listed in this plan will require continued partnership and the development of
creative implementation and funding strategies. By developing the plan with input from an array of stakeholders at every step
of the way, the process has ensured that implementation of this plan will result in streamlined impactful projects, considerate
use of resources, and include triple bottom line outcomes.
Future generations will have a more resilient community because of the foresight and collaboration of forward thinking partners.

Figure 34.

Pulaski Park walking tour.
34

APPENDIX A:
PULASKI PARK

work relief programs, and landscape architecture in the
early twentieth century Milwaukee County Parkway
System.

BUILDING ASSESSMENT
Bathhouse/Pavilion – “Comfort Station”
The Bathhouse/Pavilion structure was built in 1915. The
“Comfort Station” as it has been called, is in great need
of improvements and upgrades to meet the needs of the
community. The structure presents a great opportunity
to operate as a hub for the neighborhood surrounding
Pulaski Park. This is particularly crucial, as there no other
public green spaces to utilize for community education and
meetings, as well as public and private social gatherings.

Pulaski Park has long been a significant place for
recreation and social interaction in the Kinnickinnic River
Neighborhood. Facility improvements within Pulaski Park
proper are integral to both the short and long term vision for
the area. The purpose of this section is to review County
planned facility and infrastructure improvements for
Pulaski Park in order to identify opportunities for facilities
improvements in conjunction with green infrastructure
implementation. This assessment also identifies the
opportunity to reuse/refine space as part of the KK River
Flood Management Project and also notes the importance
of bringing facilities up to working condition in order to
accommodate existing and future users of the Park. These
opportunities all relate back to the triple bottom line as a
measured indicator for success.

Records from the Wisconsin Historical Society show that
the pavilion was built in 1915, with additions in 1928, 1931,
and 1977. The pavilion was built in a Craftsman style in
brick and designed by architects Ferry and Clas, the
architects of many other prominent Milwaukee buildings,
such as the Milwaukee Central Library, the Pabst Mansion,
and the Tripoli Shrine. The 4,816 square foot building
consists of two levels and currently contains an office,
large common area, storage, men and women restrooms,
and a mechanical room.

Pulaski Park is 25.9 acres in size and was built in 1910.
The park is part of the Kinnickinnic River Parkway Historic
District and is listed in the State and National Registers
since 2010 and 2011. The Kinnickinnic River Parkway was
included in Charles B. Whitnall’s 1923 study of a countywide parkway system, which was conceived to promote the
sanitary, health, and aesthetic benefits of urban parklands.
The parkway system, including the Kinnickinnic River
Parkway was designed by Alfred Boerner, a Milwaukee
County landscape architect and Wisconsin native. As
outlined by the Wisconsin Historical Society, it is a strong
example of parkway design, and continues to reflect the
themes of community planning and development, federal

An asset analysis conducted for Milwaukee County
from 2010 highlights that the pavilion is in great need
of repair to again be utilized by the community. The
structure currently has many ADA compliance issues,
including the building entrance and all the restrooms. The
document reviews all necessary improvements by priority,
and includes the year of installation, cost of upgrade,
and when these improvements are needed by. Cost of
improvements at the time of the study was approximated
at $419,223. Roof repairs, and restroom and exterior
entrance ADA compliance are considered critical repairs
at this time. A new roof and boiler system are also due

Figure 35.

Figure 36.

Pulaski Park pavilion (historic).
35

Pulaski Park pavilion (present day).

for upgrade, however were not considered critical at the
time of the study. In regards to green infrastructure, roof
replacement could be an opportunity to combine with a
rainwater harvesting system. This could potentially reroute a significant amount of stormwater from entering
directly into the river.

Splash Pad
This feature, adjacent to the Pulaski Pool building, is
currently non-functioning. Expansion plans for the building
show the new addition being added to the south side of the
existing building and no replacement of the current, nonfunctioning splash pad.

Pulaski Park Indoor Family Aquatic Center

Tennis Courts
Built in 1955 with few recent upgrades, these two tennis
courts measuring approximately 120 x 98 feet are in great
need of repair or replacement with community desires
for other recreational activities. Green space not being
utilized for sport courts could be used for implementation
of green infrastructure elements such as bio-filtration
basins.

The Pulaski Pool is one of two indoor pools in Milwaukee
County, and the only one on the south side of Milwaukee,
making it a significant recreational and cultural asset for
the communities surrounding Pulaski Park and beyond.
Built in 1980, the facility is in need of interior and exterior
upgrades. Reports and studies have been undertaken
to explore upgrade and expansion of the pool. However,
due to lack of current funding, no plans to expand the pool
currently exist. Whether the County maintains the current
building or eventually undertakes an expansion, the
building could be a potential site for green infrastructure
elements such as a green roof or rain water harvesting
system. The parking lot is also in need of repair and the
possibility of adding additional stalls has been identified as
part of the study. The repair and/or addition of new parking
spaces creates the opportunity to combine improvements
with green infrastructure elements such as permeable
pavement or bio-filtration basins adjacent to the parking
lot.

Tot Lot/Playground
The park a playground just north of the KK River and
adjacent to the basketball courts is relatively new and
is currently in good condition. Given the playground’s
proximity to the KK River and the plans slated for
reconstruction of the river to widen the floodplain,
relocation of this playground may be required.
Outdoor Fitness Station
Just to the south of the Pulaski Park Pool Building is an
underutilized fitness station. The facility is constructed
of wood materials and has seen decay and deterioration
after years of use.

INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
Green Space
The park features a significant amount of green space
with undulating topography that slopes to the KK River.
Areas of the park not in use for recreation could be used
to create rain gardens and bio-filtration basins to slow and
reduce the amount of water running into the river. These
features could contribute to increasing the scenic beauty
of the park and reduce upkeep of grass in many areas of
the park.

Park Facilities
Upper Field (corner of W Cleveland Ave.& S 16th St.)
The area is primarily used as a playfield for soccer. The
borders of the area could be sites for bio-filtration basins,
as the river is downhill from the field. Reconstruction of
the actual playfield itself using artificial turf is another
option to reduce the amount of maintenance and increase
the aesthetic nature of the field.
Basketball Court
Built in 1970 and renovated in 2011, this concrete pad
court is in good condition and features two hoops and
modern lighting.
Restrooms
Publicly available restrooms are currently housed in
the Pulaski Pool building. The pavilion is also host to
restrooms. However, the facilities in the pavilion are
currently closed to the public due to the dire need for
upgrades. Improvements to the restrooms could be an
opportunity to utilize grey water to further the community’s
desired environmental performance and decrease the
water runoff into the river, just south of the pavilion.

Figure 37.

36

Pulaski Pool building.

Paved Surfaces
Sidewalks
There are approximately 7,053 linear feet of sidewalks in Pulaski Park (not including the sidewalks located within the street
public rights-of-way). Of these, 726 feet of the sidewalks are part of the nine staircases in the area of the park north of W.
Cleveland Avenue. Sidewalks in Pulaski Park range in condition and many are in great need of repair and/or replacement.
The Kinnickinnic River bisects the northern end of the park and elevations increase north and south of the river. This changing
elevation throughout the park necessitates stepped sidewalks in several areas of the park. These staircases are in need for
repair or replacement. These repairs will be significant, as entrances on the east and west ends of the park require staircase
use, in addition to use within to access many park facilities and amenities require the use of these stairs.
In general, the sidewalks around the Pulaski Pool are in relatively good condition. The only exception is the sidewalk along the
east side of the building, which needs to be replaced or mud-jacked.
Pedestrian Bridge
Built in 1965, this concrete structure that connects the north and south sides of the park is in need for an upgrade. With the
reconstruction of the Kinnickinnic River, this bridge will eventually be removed and most likely be replaced as a result of the
MMSD Flood Management Project.
Parking
Pulaski Park features one parking area with the capacity of 24 spaces, just south of W. Cleveland Avenue and north of the
pool structure. Overflow parking is available on adjacent city streets. The parking lot is currently in poor condition, with multiple
potholes developing around storm inlets, as well as a circular staining and cracking pattern near the loading dock. This area
is in great need of repair or replacement and the possibility of adding additional stalls has been identified as part of the study.
The repair and/or addition of new parking spaces creates the opportunity to combine improvements with green infrastructure
elements such as permeable pavement or bio-filtration basins adjacent to the parking lot.

Figure 38.

Surface parking lot condi ons.

Figure 39.

37

Surface parking lot condi ons.

Figure 40.

Pulaski Park ameni es.
38

APPENDIX B:
PULASKI PARK
SURVEY RESULTS

In the spring of 2014 the Milwaukee County Parks staff undertook a strategic planning effort for the parks system for 20152020. In an effort to better understand how residents use the parks at large, a ‘Parks Use and Interest Survey’ was developed
for residents to provide input online and during open house meetings. Because of the breadth of the survey, data for individual
parks and associated responses were not available. SSCHC worked with County Parks staff to develop a more specific
survey where survey results would be integrated into the larger strategic planning effort but also help identify needs and
opportunities as they relate to Pulaski Park. The survey and associated responses were developed specifically for Pulaski
Park in order to understand current use and future opportunities.
Because the majority of Pulaski Park Neighborhood residents prefer to be communicated with via mail or in person, SSCHC
staff and volunteers administered surveys through community events and via door-to-door. In total, 125 bilingual surveys were
completed and placed partners in a better position to understand how the community uses the park, future opportunities as
well as more qualitative information that was generated through an open ended prompt asking for additional comments. Many
of these comments centered around perceptions of crime and safety in the park which is in line with comments received from
the neighborhood at large. The projects and programs that are anticipated to be implemented as part of realizing the Pulaski
Park Neighborhood Stormwater Plan will bring more users into the park, promote positive use of the space, and enhance
aesthetics which can all lead to lower crime rates (or perception of crime).
In addition to the survey data listed on pages 40 and 41, residents also added the following statements when being interviewed.

Years ago it was nice having parties at the pavilion because the kids could go
outside and play during the party.


I would like exercise equipment like downtown


I use the playground and play soccer with grandkids

The community input in such a comprehensive project…will change the
face of our community and infrastructure of our park. This park is key to our
neighborhood and we need to make sure that our recreational area is not only
safe but also enticing.

Please keep up with basic maintenance with litter, graffiti, weeds, and lights.

39


TOP TEN WAYS THE PARK IS USED NOW
The top ten uses of Pulaski Park
amenities include the playgrounds,
walking and jogging, sledding, biking
and basketball.

HOW FREQUENTLY THE PARK IS USED
The only green space for 18,280
families in a dense urban
neighborhood, Pulaski Park is a
valuable asset. It is used yearround by the community and its
Pulaski Pool draws in south side
users from a broader geography.

WHAT THE COMMUNITY ENVISIONS
Among the ten most desired
changes are community access
to the pavilion and programming
like exercise, art or environmental
classes. Respondents were
prompted to pick their top 4 choices
for questions 1 and 3.

40

TYPES OF PLAYGROUNDS
Residents would like to continue to
see family-friendly amenities like the
playground. Large support exists
for safe and visible designated play
areas such as rubber surfaces,
fenced playgrounds or a kiddie
pool. Neighbors cite the lack of
tennis users as an opportunity to
re-imagine the tennis courts as a kid
zone.

THE PAVILION AS A COMMUNITY HUB
Community members are excited
about using the Pulaski Park
pavilion as a neighborhood
gathering place.
They envision renting it for parties
or special events, using it for
community meetings to address
crime and other neighborhood
needs or having cultural events
like a farmers’ market or music
concerts.

TYPES OF EXERCISE CLASSES
When it comes to exercise classes,
zumba and yoga top the list.
Swimming and permanent exercise
equipment also rank high. For other
types of active use of the park,
neighbors listed running programs
for building up existing runners for
races and preserving the sledding
that is a big draw every winter.

41

APPENDIX C:
REGULATORY RELIEF
and INCENTIVIZING
GREEN
INFRASTRUCTURE
Regulatory Relief for Municipalities
Stormwater is primarily regulated through a permitting program called the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System
(WPDES). The WPDES Stormwater Program regulates stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal
separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. Additionally, permits for combined
sewer system operators may contain stormwater requirements aimed at reducing overflow events.
The permits issued pursuant to the WPDES program are designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful
pollutants into local surface waters such as streams, rivers, and lakes. This is accomplished primarily through the use of best
management practices, which are techniques, measures or structural controls used to manage the quantity and improve the
quality of stormwater runoff. In addition, MS4 permitees (City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County) are required to take a
number of additional actions including public outreach and sewer leak detection.
The upcoming Milwaukee River Basin TMDL may also impose requirements beyond what is currently in most stormwater
permits. The TMDL will set pollutant reduction targets and individual regulated entities will be required as part of their permits
to develop a plan to meet the targets. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s recently-released TMDL Guidance
for MS4 permits outlines the process through which the reduction targets will be incorporated into MS4 permits, and how and
when the permitees will be expected to meet their targets. The permitees will be given a period of time to plan after which
they will be expected to implement controls and other measures to continually reduce their stormwater discharges until their
target is met.
Based on the WinSLAMM outputs as part of this plan, collaboration between partners in managing stormwater is a more
effective approach then single land owner projects based on opportunity (both in terms of stormwater quantity and quality and
from a financial standpoint). This plan demonstrates how collaboration can help stakeholders reach their regulatory goals and
leverage investments for additional social and economic opportunities.
Unfortunately, stormwater management regulations are not designed to foster a collaborative and holistic management
approach. As mentioned above, different types of regulated entities—MS4 operators, combined sewer system operators,
and industrial facilities—are regulated under different types of permits and are subject to different stormwater management
requirements. This becomes especially difficult to negotiate if a project demonstrates that the most effective way to manage
stormwater runoff is to capture the runoff from Land Owner A and treat it on Land Owner B’s property. The question becomes,
who gets the credit and how much?
The Pulaski Park Neighborhood Stormwater Plan, through its place-based approach to stormwater management, presents
a unique opportunity to address certain regulatory shortcomings by laying out a comprehensive implementation plan that
can support and adapt to the regulatory framework to foster a more collaborative approach to stormwater management.
Additionally, the project team has partnered with the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust to explore ways beyond the
development of this plan in which the regulatory framework can be adapted to leverage participation and funding among the
different entities within the project area.

42

Incentivizing Green Infrastructure Implementation on Commercial and Industrial Properties
As demonstrated in this plan, the need to manage stormwater for quality improvement and quantity reduction is real and
will require that all stakeholders continue to move forward in supporting these implementation opportunities. Permitting
requirements have been discussed throughout this plan that identify how and why municipalities are required to manage
stormwater and that residents want to manage stormwater. Businesses, however, are regulated differently. It is crucial to
understand how businesses are regulated and how stakeholders can continue to work together to incentivize and support
businesses owners with real tools (including funding opportunities) for green infrastructure implementation.
Permits issued through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are intended to reduce stormwater runoff into lakes,
rivers, and streams. Permits covering industrial properties typically require the owner of the property to develop a stormwater
pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) that includes a site drainage map, implementation schedules for stormwater pollutant
control best management practices, annual plan and facility assessments, and both non-stormwater and stormwater discharge
monitoring. However, if a business can demonstrate that stormwater is not exposed to any industrial materials it can certify
to a condition of “no exposure” for stormwater discharge. Unfortunately, based on WinSLAMM modeling as part of this plan,
these “no exposure” facilities still contribute substantial amounts of polluted run off that should be managed in order to achieve
water quality and quantity reduction goals.
In Milwaukee, the existing regulations support the implementation of green infrastructure through a Stormwater Management
Charge that was established in 2006 to offset the costs needed to manage and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater
runoff entering Milwaukee’s storm sewers and waterways. The fee is collected quarterly and is based on the total area of
impervious surface on the property. The current quarterly fee has risen over the years from $8 per unit to $16.94 per unit.
A unit is described as an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) and one ERU is equivalent to 1,610 square feet of impervious
surface.
Business owners may receive a credit to the stormwater management charge by voluntarily investing in green infrastructure
on the property. The City will perform a calculation based on total gallons of capture and provide a credit to the stormwater
charge of up to 60% of the fee. Types of practices that would receive credit include green roofs, permeable/porous paving
and bioswales. This plan is intended to set the stage for businesses to learn about the existing conditions where their
employees live, work and play and partner with stakeholders to improve those conditions through the implementation of green
infrastructure.

43

Questions? Contact:
Nadia Bogue
Environmental Projects Coordinator
Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
nadia.bogue@sschc.org
414-385-3749