10 Best Cities for Urban Forests: Milwaukee

  • Photo Credit: CJ Schmit
  • Downtown Milwaukee and "The Calling" sculpture. Credit: Benjamin Lipsman
  • Kayaking on the Kinnickinnic River, Milwaukee. Credit: Michael Pereckas
  • View From Veterans Park, Milwaukee. Credit: Purple Slog/Flickr
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Credit: Payton Chung/Flickr

Sitting on the shore of Lake Michigan and at the confluence of three rivers, Milwaukee’s terrain was shaped by another geophysical phenomenon: glaciers, which left behind steep bluffs and a surrounding region full of inland lakes. Home to Wisconsin’s only urban state park, Lakeshore State Park, residents also enjoy outdoor musical festivals and a 40-acre sculpture garden with more than 50 pieces of art placed across the park, around the lake and in the woodland.

Milwaukee has a long history of urban forestry. Past struggles with Dutch elm disease and current ones with emerald ash borer (EAB) have led the city to implement diversification plans, as well as develop comprehensive inventories of its trees. With the exception of the city’s ash trees, which are battling the ravages of EAB, the city’s street trees are in excellent condition. Milwaukee has 25 acres of park per 1,000 residents. Its urban forest provides $15 million in stormwater savings and removes 496 tons of pollution annually — a value estimated at $2.59 million.

Learn more about Milwaukee’s urban forest (PDF version)

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