Sep 19, 2018

Volunteers Assemble Cistern at Milwaukee Community Garden

The cistern will manage storm water runoff in the community while providing irrigation for the community garden

Rainwater harvesting system built in community garden
Rainwater harvesting system built in community garden

On Sept. 15, community partners and volunteers teamed up at Alice’s Garden, a community garden in the Milwaukee neighborhood of Lindsay Heights, to assemble and install 640 AquaBlox rain tank storage modules. While the project was expect to take five hours, the more than 150 volunteers used the boxes to create a 20,000 gal cistern for the community garden in just over two hours.

The Alice’s Garden Rainwater Harvesting Project will divert storm water runoff from the adjacent Brown Street Academy’s asphalt property into a bioswale. From there, the water will funnel into the cistern where gardeners can use a solar-powered pump and filtration system for irrigation, as reported by the Milwaukee Independent.

“The next step will be to add solar panels to power the irrigation pump and support various community events in the garden,” said Justin Hegarty, executive director of Reflo.

Funding for the project was provided by Institute for Sustainable Communities and in collaboration with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milwaukee Public Schools, Fund for Lake Michigan, and Joseph and Vera Zibler Charitable Foundation.

Organized by Walnut Way and the city of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO), the Alice’s Garden project is one of a multiple storm water management and solar installations on the docket for 2018 in Lindsay Heights. On Oct. 6, the groups will host a similar blox assembly event at Green Tech Station.