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Milwaukee, WI



Land reduces flood risks & improves water quality

(Milwaukee, WI) – Sponge-like soils thrive on Greenseams® properties, allowing water to soak into the ground naturally on 100 parcels of land that now total 3,142 acres in the region. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s (MMSD) Greenseams® program recently completed its 100th purchase, collaborating with several partners on a 155 acre site in Mequon, Wisconsin.

“From reducing the risk of future flooding to offering green space for hiking and watching wildlife, Greenseams® harnesses Mother Nature to counter the effects of fast growing areas near urban centers,” said Kevin Shafer, MMSD Executive Director.

Greenseams® is an innovative flood management program that permanently protects key lands containing water absorbing soils. The program makes voluntary purchases of undeveloped, privately owned properties in areas expected to have major growth in the next 20 years and open space along streams, shorelines and wetlands.  Take a virtual tour of Greenseams® properties at:

“The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) is delighted to partner with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s Greenseams Program to protect the Spirit Lake property in Mequon.  This acquisition marks the 100th Greenseams project and boosts the land area that OWLT protects to over 6,000 acres,” said Shawn Graff of OWLT.  “This Spirit Lake protection effort truly represents great milestones for both organizations.  OWLT is honored to partner with the Sewerage District to protect this property.  We look forward to many more partnership opportunities to protect water quality and quantity in the Milwaukee River Watershed.”


“Milwaukee and its Greenseams program have become a national model for cities looking to utilize green infrastructure to address storm water challenges in rapidly growing areas,” said Larry Selzer, President & CEO of The Conservation Fund. “This milestone is significant not only because of the results the program has produced that you can see—like 100 public green spaces that didn’t exist 14 years ago, as well as healthier waterways, forests and wildlife habitat—but also for those that are not visible, like reducing the risks to property damage and loss from flooding in developing communities.”


MMSD hired The Conservation Fund (TCF) to run Greenseams®. TCF is a national non-profit conservation organization that forges partnerships to protect America's legacy of land and water resources. TCF performs high volume real estate transactions for local land trusts and government agencies throughout the country.

100th Greenseams Property – Spirit Lake – Mequon, Wisconsin

Total Acres:  155
Funding:                     Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship              $600,000
                                   Ozaukee Washington Land Trust                         $250,000
                                   MMSD (85 acre conservation easement)             $200,000