Grassroot Effort Grows to Create Milwaukee Water Commons

Grassroot Effort Grows to Create Milwaukee Water Commons

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By Susan Bence

The idea is to get the entire community involved in Milwaukee’s freshwater future. Alexa Bradley started the conversation almost three years ago.

Bradley is a long time activist – and Milwaukee native, – who helped “incubate” the “Commons” idea in Minneapolis. Bradley went on to help create the Great Lakes Commons, that is taking shape in places like Toronto and Cleveland and especially in Milwaukee.

The idea attracted 24 people to a church basement off Fond du Lac last March.

Bradley now lives in Brooklyn, New York, so it’s Ann Brummitt’s job to keep the momentum going day to day. She comes to Milwaukee Water Commons by way of having coordinated the Milwaukee River Greenway project.

Brummitt says Water Commons planning started in earnest in early 2013.

“And we were really interested in talking with people about the proposal that Milwaukee is becoming a freshwater hub; we prefer to say ‘a freshwater city’. And what does that mean across the city and who is engaged in that conversation,” Brummitt says.

Many conversations later, representatives from six neighborhoods agreed to commit to the effort.

“They can in turn get residents connected to some form of stewardship,” Brummitt adds, “today is the very first session.”

Read the rest of the article on the Great Lakes Commons Blog at the link below:

Milwaukee Water Commons is a cross-city network that fosters connection, collaboration and broad community leadership on behalf of our waters. We promote stewardship of, equitable access to and shared decision-making for our common waters.