MMSD Storm Water Tree Project

Milwaukee Stormwater Tree Project

What are Stormwater Trees?

Stormwater trees can hold rainwater on their leaves and branches, infiltrate it into the ground, absorb it through root systems and evapotranspire it to the atmosphere. They can be used in conjunction with engineered soils and other types of green infrastructure and work best when they’re mature (and so are not a quick fix to storm water issues).


Project Overview

With our climate changing, Wisconsin can expect more intense rain, bigger storms, and changes in temperature. Stormwater trees are part of MMSD’s green infrastructure solutions to managing rainwater and improving water quality in our urban waterways.  We hope to increase community resilience through improved tree canopies. Trees soak up rainwater before it enters our pipes and rivers and lets the rain soak into the ground naturally. Trees also absorb the gases that are making climate change happen.

We will work with residents to plant over 300 trees in this neighborhood of Milwaukee. These trees can soak up over 18,500 gallons of water in any storm. That’s enough to fill two swimming pools! These trees will also help clean our air by removing 2.75 million pounds of carbon dioxide (the gas that causes climate change). As part of this project, residents in the project area will go on tree exploration hikes in Havenwoods State Forest, have input into what types of trees should be planted and where, and can get a rain barrel or small tree for their homes.

Child on Stormwater Tree MMSD

Project Locations

N 76th Street to N 35th Street, Milwaukee, WI. | W Villard Ave. to W Mill Rd, Milwaukee, WI.

Click the arrow on the top left hand side of the map to view project areas and tree canopy locations.

Project Timeline

SUMMER 2019 Community Events

SEPTEMBER 2019 Tree Exploration Walks

OCTOBER 2019 Community Decision Making Workshop

APRIL 2020 Arbor Day Celebration with Rain Barrel and Tree Giveaway

SUMMER 2020 Tree Planting Around the Community

FALL 2020 Celebration

*Timeline end date is subject to change.

Benefits of Trees

  • soak up rainwater before it enters our sewer pipes and rivers
  • fight climate change
  • reduce flooding
  • reduce air pollution
  • improve health
  • provide oxygen
  • make the community look nice




Milwaukee Stormwater Tree Project Tree


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More Ways to Benefit Your Community

Install a Milwaukee Rain Garden

Install a Rain Garden

Rain gardens are gardens that are watered by collected or pooled stormwater runoff, slowly infiltrating it into the ground along root pathways.

Install a Milwaukee Rain Barrel

Install a Rain Barrel

Get FREE water by the barrel from your roof and use it when it’s dry outside to use in your landscape.  Rain barrels help keep excess water out of the sewer system and help reduce water pollution. 

Water Drop Alert Milwaukee Stormwater Tree Project

Sign Up for Water Drop Alerts

Get alerted when to use less water in your home during weather events to help prevent basement backups and sewer overflows.