How UWM is Going Green and Helping Bring Sustainability to East Side

When you think of UWM, the university wants you to think green.

Leading the green revolution at UWM is Kate M. Nelson, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s chief sustainability officer. Kate will discuss how the university’s sustainability efforts influence stormwater management, bicycling, and urban agriculture in the community at HWTN’s next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 7, 2015.

Profile-Pick_1The meeting takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room of Lake Park Pavilion, beneath Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro. Come a few minutes early for coffee and cookies courtesy of Lake Park Bistro. After Kate’s presentation, the HWTN trustees and members will discuss other community issues. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The Office of Sustainability at UW-Milwaukee, headed by Kate, was founded in 2008. The office “assesses, supports, and drives sustainability initiatives across campus operations, student life, and throughout academic affairs,” according to the university’s website.

According to the website:

By building cross campus and community collaborations, integrating sustainability into campus planning initiatives, assessing impacts over the long term, and working from our own sense of place and purpose, UW-Milwaukee manages its resources wisely and makes sustainability relevant to its teaching and research mission.

Past initiatives include Energy Matters, a campus wide energy efficiency program with Facility Services, supporting stormwater green infrastructure with the School of Architecture, initiating and growing campus gardens with many across the UWM community, bike planning with the assistance of Campus Planning and Community Design Solutions, and multiple outreach programs with the Share the Earth series.

Kate has headed the Office of Sustainability since its founding. She is responsible for planning & managing a variety of sustainability initiatives, including, but not limited to; energy conservation strategies, stormwater management, expansive recycling programs, sustainable purchasing, alternative transportation options, urban gardening as well as engaging the campus students, faculty, and staff through multiple sustainability outreach and educational programs. Previously, Kate was a GIS specialist and project assistant for The Conservation Fund, and worked to preserve and restore critical land areas for MMSD’s Greenseams program that addressed flood management. Her previous research in the sustainable development of Costa Rica, Romania, and Cuba has influenced and aligned her strategies for environmental policy and planning here at home in Wisconsin. Kate holds an MS in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies of UW Madison, as well as a BA in Conservation and Environmental Science from UW-Milwaukee and a previous BA in Theatre and Writing from Cardinal Stritch University.

Feb. 5: The ABC’s of the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee

Interested in Milwaukee, from A to Z? Then come hear University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Professor Amanda Seligman speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014, about the development of the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee (“EMKE”), a project from UWM’s Department of History.

EMKE logoThe EMKE will provide comprehensive coverage of the history of the Milwaukee metropolitan area and be available in print from Northern Illinois University Press and online from UWM in 2017. The project has received major support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and UWM. More details are available here.

amanda-seligmanAmanda Seligman is Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies at UWM. She holds a PhD in history from Northwestern University and is the author of Block by Block: Neighborhoods and Public Policy on Chicago’s West Side (University of Chicago Press, 2005) and Is Graduate School Really for You?: The Whos, Whats, Hows, and Whys of Pursuing a Master’s or PhD (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012).

The meeting is free and takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room in Lake Park Pavilion. Attendees are invited to join us at 6:45 p.m. before the meeting for free cookies and coffee courtesy of Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro. The meeting room is beneath the Bistro.



UWM students shine light on buildings, people and history of HWTN area

A cornucopia of historical and contemporary multimedia documentation about the Historic Water Tower Neighborhood area has been developed and is now available as part of a “field study” focused on our neighborhood this summer by students in the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures collaborative project at UW Milwaukee and Madison.

Students unveiled their field work in July before a standing-room-only crowd of HWTN members and others at an event organized by the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the university’s Hefter Conference Center.

The results of the studies and the multimedia products are newly available for browsing and viewing on the project’s “Picturing Milwaukee: The 2013 BLC Field School” website.









The website includes a huge variety of text, photos, video and audio documenting our neighborhood. Topics include places along the Lake Michigan shore (such as the Water Tower, North Point Lighthouse, Lake Park and Bradford Beach), Downer Avenue’s shops, a number of beautiful historic homes, insights from area residents, Villa Terrace and old postcards. The site also includes mini-documentaries and an online forum for residents to discuss the neighborhood.

In describing the effort, the BLC field school website said:

“We seek to explore, examine, highlight, and share myriad neighborhoods stories of community engagement, dreams of a bright future, and fond memories of a rich past. “

HWTN raised $2,300 to help fund this year’s field school to commemorate our group’s founding 40 years ago. The funds were raised through a wine tasting,  silent auction at the annual holiday party and $500 donation from our group.

TerraceMany HWTN members worked with the students by providing guidance, review, interviews and access to their homes.

The project website described the collaboration this way:

“We are thankful to the Historic Water Tower neighborhood residents for welcoming us in their midst and for helping us document their stories. Neighborhood scholars mentored our students and reviewed their projects. The neighborhood association raised funds, provided us with classroom space and helped us in data collection. Residents allowed us to enter their buildings, measure and document them and allowed us to interview them.”

“This project coincides with the 40-year celebration of the Historic Water Tower neighborhood organization and we plan to mark this occasion by highlighting stellar stories of stewardship by local residents. In this field school, we have documented a few buildings and collected many oral histories of stalwarts and leaders from this neighborhood.”

HWTN appreciates the hard work, talent and outcome of the students and staff on this project. Now, with so much material available on the website, we encourage people to look at what the students uncovered and recorded. Let us know what you discover — and what you think about it!

– Jeff Bentoff



Neighborhood History Exhibit To Be Unveiled Friday July 26

As you may recall, as part of our 40th anniversary this year, HWTN has been sponsoring an exciting UWM study of our  neighborhood history.

On Friday July 26, the study will be unveiled to the neighbors. Below is a flyer with details on the event. Come and learn what UWM students and staff have found through their studies and join us in this fun event celebrating our neighborhood.

07.03.13 HWTN Save the Date Pic Mke


HWTN Co-Sponsors Free Historic Preservation, Oral History Talks in June

Historic Water Tower Neighborhood is pleased to be co-sponsoring two exciting lectures on preservation, storytelling and oral history this month. Each is free and open to the public:

  • Does Williamsburg Still Matter? Preservation and Storytelling in the 21st Century Lecture by Jeff Klee, Architectural Historian – Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
    • Event date: 6/14/2013. Time: 6:30-8:30PM Place: Villa Terrace Museum, 2220 N. Terrace Ave. Milwaukee.

  • “Messin’ in the Kitchen”: New Possibilities for Community Public/Oral History in the Digital Age Lecture by Michael H. Frisch, Professor of American Studies and History and Senior Research Scholar at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
    • Event date: 6/18/2013. Time: 6:30-8:30PM Place: North Point Lighthouse, 2650 N. Wahl Avenue, Milwaukee.

More details and a flyer for the events are available here.