After nearly a decade of planning, a North Side Milwaukee "brownfield" is being developed into an urban farm that will eventually produce healthy food and create jobs.
The 1.25-acre farm will sit on a redeveloped parcel of industrial land near N. 30th and Brown St. Work is underway now to remove the industrial waste and contaminated soil, converting it to usable land once again.
After the area has been cleared of debris, crews will lay down a layer of crumbled concrete; then, they'll top it with two feet of new, healthy dirt for the farm.
The site will also incorporate cutting edge water technology, installed by the sustainability nonprofit, Reflo
A 40,000 gallon water cistern will catch rainwater to be used for irrigation, diverting that water from the sewer system. Sensors will also measure water flow in and out of the system, and natural bioswales will purify rainwater runoff.
The project is being funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District with oversight from the City of Milwaukee.
Click the podcast player above to hear our interview with Justin Hegarty, executive director of Reflo.