Work continues on ensuring water access for urban gardens in Milwaukee

The question if if and when Milwaukee Water Works would turn off access to fire hydrants for community gardens has been a very hot topic in Milwaukee’s urban ag scene for some time now. Witness the dozens of people who attended the July 14 meeting (so briefly plugged on here), and subsequent meetings on the topic.

Another such meeting is happening Monday, Aug 16 at the Urban Ecology Center. It looks like it will be another good meeting, not just a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. Here’s the agenda:

6:00-6:30 Networking and Setting up for meeting

6:30- 8:30 Brainstorming/ Strategy Meeting

We are going to explore water issues, solutions, personal skills and affiliations to maxim are collective strengths, vision and creativity. The plan is to write a shared vision in a limited amount of time. All participants will be presented with a number of specific topics/issues expressed on the water group list serve. Everyone will then be asked to write down their ideas on individual pieces of paper. All of these ideas will be shared/displayed with the group, in what can be referred to as an idea map.  Discussion of these items takes place as they are being displayed. Once these ideas are displayed, we can begin to map them looking for not only commonalities within the group, but also associations that come within the presented topics. This will provide a way for us to focus our mission and purpose.

Brainstorming/Strategy  Meeting Agenda

Chris Terbrueggen and Beth Lukomski
Facilatator and Co-Facilatator

1) Welcome and Brief Introductions   20 min. (6:30- 6:50)

2) Assign Roles      10 minutes, (6:50- 7:00)
Late Comer Greater
Time Keeper
Parking Lot
New Member Outreach ( Sign up Sheet)

Brainstorming/ Strategy Session

3) Water  Issues and Solutions    40 minutes             ( 7:00- 7:40)
4) Individual Skills and  Affiliations   20 minutes      (7:40-8:00)
5) Focusing Mission Statement     20 minutes            (8:00-8:20)
6) Next Meeting Discussion  10 minutes                   (8:20- 8:30)
7) Donations for Urban Ecology Center

Pending: Group Decision Making

Please email Chris at: if want more information or would like to join the water working group listserv.

•  •  •
Chris Terbrueggen’s article provides a very good overview on the subject. A more ‘official’ perspective can be found in Karen Herzog of the Journal Sentinel. To be fair, no gardeners, be they hobbyists or people who depend on their garden for food or a source of income, are quoted in either story. The City has been very forthcoming with their desire to work with us, the urban gardeners. I think that did come through in both stories. And the value of having multiple sources of media is shown by the difference in perspectives in the two stories.

Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.