kinnickinnic river in jackson park concrete lined

Kinnickinnic river & Jackson park 

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Jackson Park Project Overview

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is partnering with Milwaukee County Parks and others to make improvements along the Kinnickinnic River and within Jackson Park. Jackson Park is a regional park on Milwaukee’s south side, located on the Kinnickinnic River Parkway. The lagoon, natural wooded areas, picnic sites, playfields, summer farmers’ market, and other recreation amenities make this park a popular destination for the neighboring communities. The Kinnickinnic River flows through the park but you might not even realize it! Currently, a significant portion of the river in Jackson is lined in concrete channels or enclosed in culverts.

The Kinnickinnic River at Jackson Park project is part of the larger Kinnickinnic River Watershed Flood Management Plan. The goals of this plan include:

  • Flood risk reduction to over 700 residential & commercial structures;
  • Improved public safety;
  • Improved riparian & aquatic habitats;
  • Enhanced stream aesthetics; and
  • Robust community collaboration.

To allow for more storage of floodwaters during heavy storms and to naturalize the river, more than 2,100 feet of concrete channel lining and enclosed culverts will be removed and replaced with a natural stream design. Because of this, elements of Jackson Park will have the opportunity to be re-envisioned to better support recreation and the community! Some of these changes will include increasing the size of the park, removing contaminated sediments from the lagoon, improving trails, and updating sports courts.

Based on feedback from the public, MMSD and Milwaukee County entered into an agreement in May 2020 to design and construct the Kinnickinnic River & Jackson Park project.  MMSD and County have been working to refine the draft initial project design and will continue to seek public input throughout the design process.

To reduce the flood storage needed in Jackson Park MMSD is partnering with the City Of Milwaukee to create a flood storage basin north of the park.  During a heavy rain, water will flow into the basin from the 43rd Street Ditch, where it will be held, until it begins to slowly move into the Kinnickinnic River in Jackson Park. Learn more about the 43rd Street Ditch project.

Jackson Park Map

3500 W. Forest Home Avenue, Milwaukee

Use the slider below to see the changes coming to Jackson Park.

Project Benefits

  • A natural river system that can better handle floodwaters
  • Improved regional park amenities informed by community need
  • Less concrete, more vegetation
  • More opportunities for visitors to recreate in natural environments
  • Improved wildlife habitats

Give Us Your Feedback

Contact your County Supervisor and tell them what you think about the project! Unsure who is your County Supervisor or how to contact them? Visit

Contact MMSD below to let us know what you think about the project!  Click here to sign up to receive Kinnickinnic River Flood Management Project in Jackson Park email updates.


Other MMSD Flood Management Projects

Greenseams Flood Management MMSD


Greenseams® helps prevent future flooding and water pollution while supporting and protecting MMSD's structural flood management projects - infrastructure investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Greenseams® is an innovative flood management program that permanently protects key lands containing water absorbing soils.

restored channel of kinnickinnic river in pulaski park

Pulaski Park

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is partnering with Milwaukee County Parks and others to remove the concrete lining and restore the Kinnickinnic River to a natural stream in Pulaski Park. The project will reduce neighborhood flooding and improve public safety by slowing down the river in the park.

MMSD 30th Street Corridor

30th Street Corridor

With extensive input from neighbors and nearby businesses, a project is underway to capture and store 40 million gallons of stormwater to reduce the risk of flooding when storms roll over the area