MMSD Green Schools Initiative

Green Schools

Why Does MMSD Invest in Green Schools?

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) 2035 vision includes a goal of capturing the first half-inch of rainfall that falls on impervious surfaces using green infrastructure (GI). Managing water where it falls is an essential element of improving water quality and reducing flooding.  MMSD has been committed to green schoolyard redevelopments for many years as part of our stormwater management and resiliency goals. This work helps convert predominantly asphalt-paved schoolyards into green spaces and increase the community's exposure to and understanding of GI. Every child deserves a place to play and learn that incorporates green space.  Green spaces help improve the health and well-being of the community while also teaching our children the important ecological benefits provided by GI. 

MMSD’s investment in green schoolyards helps remove hard surfaces and replaces them with GI.  This helps reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering our sewer system and pollution entering our local waterways. Beyond benefiting MMSD’s sewer system and Lake Michigan, the green schoolyards provide a safe space for the students, their families, and the community to learn and play. 

  • Hawley Environmental School

    Hawley Environmental School

  • Burdick School

    Burdick School

  • Kids playing in rain garden

    Kids playing in rain garden

  • Longfellow School

    Longfellow School


View the transformations of the first cohort of schoolyard redevelopments and see the positive impact these projects have on the environment and school communities. 

Fresh Coast Green Schoolyards: City of Milwaukee Project

MMSD has been working with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and the nonprofit Reflo to redevelop schoolyards for over five years. Reflo works with MMSD to develop conceptual plans that include GI for MPS schoolyards to manage water where it falls. Learn more about the Green & Healthy Schools Program.

Reflo is a local nonprofit whose mission is to catalyze sustainable water use, GI, and equitable water resource management that supports triple-bottom-line outcomes grounded in strong partner relationships.  Reflo accomplishes its objectives through education, research, and the implementation of water projects that are valuable for individuals, local communities, and the organizations that support them.

Fresh Coast Green Schoolyards Program: MMSD Green Infrastructure Service Area

MMSD began working with Greenprint Partners in 2021 to manage a pilot program that develops GI engineering plans for schools in our suburban school districts, reaching beyond the City of Milwaukee. Over two years, they will develop engineering plans for seven schools and help them apply for funding. 

Greenprint Partners (GP) is a GI delivery partner that helps cities achieve high-impact, community-driven stormwater solutions at scale. GP’s mission is, “GI transforms communities. We partner with cities to deliver more, better, for all.” GP approaches the opportunities and challenges of each city with a holistic and ecosystems-based lens that seeks opportunity in interconnections. GP believes the best work happens when it is informed by the free exchange of diverse perspectives from the communities we partner with, our team, and our investors. Seeking, sharing, respecting, and authentically representing these diverse perspectives is a core commitment in achieving our mission.