Sweet Water: Marquette students show off green design skills

Contact: Kate Morgan –

414.416.6509, [email protected]

Seniors from Marquette University’s School of Engineering will present plans for the 6th St. Green Corridor Project and a green roof for Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s Community Center at a meeting of Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust on May 18. The students developed the designs for their senior capstone project and as part of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin’s Collegiate BMP Design Challenge.

The Collegiate BMP Design Challenge, conceived and led by 1000 Friends of WI, connects university students with priority projects in the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee Restoration Plans and challenges them to develop designs utilizing green technologies to improve local water quality.

The initiative advances goals for Marquette School of Engineering and for Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust (Sweet Water). The Marquette capstone project connects students with area projects and local professionals to build a bridge from the classroom to real world applications and to develop relationships with engineering professionals.

For Sweet Water, the initiative introduces young professionals to green technologies and advances priority watershed projects with the students’ designs providing materials to galvanize public support and to strengthen funding proposals for the projects.

Sean Foltz of American Rivers, project mentor for the teams, observed, “This was a perfect opportunity to give burgeoning engineers the chance to incorporate green infrastructure into project design; and this lays the foundation for them to make routine use of these practices in their careers moving forward.”

One team developed conceptual designs for a green street demonstration project for the City of Milwaukee working with Alderman Witkowski of the 13th District. Their plan employed bio-swales and porous pavers to reduce stormwater runoff. The design of the bio-swales with their natural vegetation would beautify a barren stretch of roadway while reducing stormwater runoff.

Alderman Witkowski commented, “The presentation of the students provided our Green Corridor effort with a starting point for grant applications; selling and explaining where we would like to go and what this technology can do.”

The second team developed a design for a green roof for the Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s Community Center. In addition to retention of 5000 gallons of water for a 1 inch rain event, the proposed green roof will also give the students of the Islamic Community Center a new view of the roof from their windows – a green, growing landscape.

Paige Peters of the green street team remarked, “Working specifically on a green infrastructure (technology) project gave us all the mindset of how to incorporate these aspects into other design projects, and the importance of including the community in the process. We will take with us the knowledge of how green design positively affects the environment and contributes to the sustainability of any project.”

The two student teams will present their green technology designs at Sweet Water’s Kinnickinnic Watershed Action Team meeting on Wednesday, May 18, at 4:00. The meeting will be held at 16th Street Community Health Center/Parkway Health Center located at 2906 S. 20th Street in Milwaukee. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information about the Collegiate BMP Design Challenge, contact Kate Morgan at [email protected] or at 414-416-6509.

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Sweet Water, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, is a nonprofit organization created in 2008 as a partnership of local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, academia, and individuals working collectively to improve the water resources in the 1,100 square miles of Greater Milwaukee Watersheds.

For more information on Sweet Water, visit http://www.swwtwater.org or contact Jeff Martinka, Executive Director, at 414-382-1766 or via [email protected].