kinnickinnic river in jackson park concrete lined

Kinnickinnic river & Jackson park 

Project Status

Good news, the Kinnickinnic River Flood Management Project in Jackson Park is moving forward! The agreement between Milwaukee County and MMSD for the Kinnickinnic River Flood Management Project in Jackson Park has been signed. The agreement is based on a preferred alternative, the Hybrid Site Plan, which has been developed through the public involvement process.

Thank you to everyone that attended and shared their hopes, ideas, and preferences for this project. Our design team is hard at work using your input to develop more detailed plans for your review. As we move forward, we will continue to have additional opportunities for your feedback. Stay tuned! 

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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, play fields, 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 660 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 improvements will include increasing the size of the park, removing contaminated sediments from the lagoon, improving trails, and updating sports courts.


Jackson Park Map

3500 W. Forest Home Avenue, Milwaukee

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

Project Timeline

2016-2017 Public involvement and open houses; gather community input

2018-2019 Community input on Kinnickinnic River restoration

FEB 2020  Public open house & concept presentation; gather community input

FEB-AUG 2020  Refine alternatives; continue community input; refine and finalize plan

SEPT 2020-2021 Design development

2022-2024 Project construction

*Timeline is subject to change

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

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Other MMSD Flood Management Projects

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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