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Branch Out Milwaukee

A collectively organized campaign to maximize the benefit of Milwaukee's tree canopy by focusing on equity, public health, environmental health, climate resilience, and workforce development.  This project supports both our Water Quality, Green Infrastructure and Blue/Green Jobs Initiatives.

Climate change, invasive pests, and diseases (such as Emerald Ash Borer, and Dutch Elm Disease) have been reshaping Milwaukee’s environment and decimating Milwaukee’s canopy. Our approach to reforesting and maintaining trees has left Milwaukee’s marginalized and under-served neighborhoods with the least access to trees and resources for tree care, amplifying problems with storm damage, urban flooding, urban heat islands, and poor air quality.


In 2019, organizations around Milwaukee helped to develop the Branch Out Milwaukee Campaign Master Plan, and committed to organizing using shared goals and frameworks to inform their own work to address these challenges.


The Tree board will ensure that resident voices are heard in decision making about budgeting for forestry programs, and will ensure that relevant information and resources that would benefit public health and environmental health make their way to residents in the Sherman Park Neighborhood.


  • Neighborhood Tree Inventory: Milwaukee Water Commons staff will be working with residents around Sherman Park to identify trees on their property or in their favorite green spaces, sharing information and resources about trees and tree care, and cataloging trees in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wisconsin Community Tree Map to inform future forestry programs. 


  • Tree Maintenance Funding: Over the last year we have seen the negative impact that major storms can have on Milwaukee’s canopy, the risks to public safety, and the damage that under maintained trees can cause to public and private property. This year we are committing funding to working with homeowners in Sherman Park to coordinate professional assessments of trees on private property, and to subsidize the cost of hiring an arborist to maintain trees that pose a risk to public safety or property damage.

Community Education, Outreach, and Resource Sharing: Milwaukee Water Commons will be on the ground connecting residents in Sherman Park to information about partner programs, the benefits of trees, employment and career opportunities as an arborist, tree care tips and resources, and information on purchasing and planting trees.

For more information on Branch Out Milwaukee,
contact Water City Program Manager, Joe Fitzgerald. or (414)763-6199

We Kicked Off Branch Out Milwaukee

in Sherman Park April 2022!

Project Components

  • Neighborhood Tree Board: This program will pilot the development of Wisconsin’s first neighborhood tree board! The Sherman Park Neighborhood Tree Board is a volunteer committee of residents who will help to guide and inform decisions about trees and green spaces in the Sherman Park Neighborhood.

Milwaukee Water Commons Tree Planting-Friday April 29, 2022_155.JPG
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