kinnickinnic river in jackson park concrete lined

Kinnickinnic river & Jackson park 

Project Status

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Kinnickinnic River & Jackson Park Walkshops:

Join us for a walking tour of Jackson Park to hear about upcoming changes and give your feedback! Sign up for a walk.

  • Thursday, September 23, 5:30-6:30 pm - FOCUS: Recreation in the park (road, trails, picnic areas)
  • Thursday, September 30, 3:00-4:00 pm - FOCUS: The river and lagoon (design, fishing, lagoon)
  • Saturday, October 9, 10:00-11:00 am - FOCUS: Activities in the park for kids (playground, sports courts, trails) 

Community Meeting and Survey Results:

Thank you to everyone that attended the virtual community meeting and participated in our survey for this project in April 2021. Over 362 people provided their input on the design. See what YOU said you wanted in the park!

For more information about the project please watch the recorded April 22, 2021, virtual community meeting – Follow the prompts to view in your browser.

Watch English Recording | Watch Spanish Recording

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 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 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.

Jackson Park MAP

3500 W. Forest Home Avenue, Milwaukee

(Use the +/- button to zoom in and out of the map.)




Jackson Park Map Legend

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 

MAY 2020 County Parks and MMSD sign Kinnickinnic River Jackson Park agreement

MAY 2020-MAR 2021  Refine alternatives; continue community input

APR 2021 Public survey and virtual public meeting

MAY-JUN 2021 Refine and finalize the plan

JUL 2021-2022  Design development

2022-2025 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

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.

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