From Milwaukee Renaissance

KKRiverVillage: HomePage

Pictures of the Site and Wildflower Bakery Meetings re The Fish Farm

Web Link re Fish Farm Project

Location: Beecher, Robinson, Ward, Railroad Tracks; see the Google map pointing to Robinson and Ward.

This is a place to store information and foster communication to advance the greenest possible development for the tentatively named “KK River Village,” 10 acres of land near KK River and the crossroads of Bay View, the Walkers Point, and the Third Ward.

Background to KK River Village Project

Here is a first invitation to those who would wish to brainstorm and advance this vision.

Josh Fraundorf and Steve Lindner have invited me to help Steve and his team configure a process that would find the 6.5 acres just purchased (and another 3.5 hoped for) by the KK River and Lincoln Ave. (Ward to the south, rr tracks to the west, Robinson to the east, Beecher to the north) transformed into the greenest possible “village” inside the city. This means permaculture inspired habitats with roof gardens, renewable energy sources, rain barrels and rain gardens, 4 season veggie gardens, fruit trees, design to foster neighborly experiences, and other gifts for the inhabitants and their/our city our collective imaginations can conceive.

Steve has been given permission to create 46 building lots, 2 apartment buildings totally 50 or 60 units, a cul de sac, and a ground water retention system.

Location: Beecher, Robinson, Ward, Railroad Tracks; see the Google map pointing to Robinson and Ward.

I have invited some people to begin brainstorming this opportunity on-line and in-person over the next couple of weeks, at the end of which I hope to pull together some concepts to present to Steve, Josh, and team.

Our first gathering will be tomorrow (this Wednesday, August 29), at Paul Bachowski’s vacant lot to be transformed into a community garden, at 3292 N. 3rd, at 2 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. Or, at the UWM School of Architecture Commons between 3 and 4 p.m., where the N.E.Planning Group’s work will be presented from 4 to 6 p.m.

Some of the people who will most likely meet tomorrow are Josh and Jamie Fraundorf, Community Roofing & Restoration and MPS respectively, Stephanie Phillips of the Reclamation Society, Mary Beth Driscoll of MUG, Erik Lindberg of Community Building and Restoration, Paul Bachowski, commonwealth developer of MLK and Harambee, Howard Hintertheur, Director of Marketing, Goth Design Group, Swee and Lisa of Future Green, Jon and Ann Bales, Urban Aquaculure Center, Nik Kovak “Riverwest Currents,”, and others I’ll mention another time.

Please e-mail me at if you would wish to be part of these brainstorming circles.

James J. Godsil, President
Community Roofing & Restoration, Inc.

Summary on the Topics Discussed by MSOE Engineering Class of Professor Michael Swedish

Week 3 – Meeting 9/26/07
Andrew; Ben; Dan N; Yvette

Digestion: use compost and heat (if underground)
For Ag Group: Milk cartoons, Glass for Greenhouse
Methane Gas: from waste for heating
Black Water: could use solid from it
Incineration: waster (negative – air pollution)
Ideas: Add trash shoot for sorting trash
4 ½ lbs of waste per day person (767lbs/day) with at least 167 people (1 per apt, 2 ½ per home)
3rd party removal for diapers, batteries, electronics
Need ways to consume all waste
Questions to ask tomorrow at tour:
Houses - size? types?
Zoning restrictions?

Thermal (Heating/Cooling) and Water
Sources: Force Air – traditional systems
Flexsys System – underfloor ducts
Desiccant Cooling System - use of mechanical features of water vapor; good for apartments
Thermoacoustics: pressurize to heat and cool
Geothermal Systems
Natural gas
Passive heating and cooling
Magnetic Refrigeration: use magnetic field to disrupt to heat and take away to cool
Use central system vs individual
Need water consumption from each group
Underground homes
Water – rainwater, city, ground, recycling (gray/black water), condensation of HVAC Systems
Energy efficient systems
Heating water

Wind Power: Likely to be eliminated (noise problems)
Solar Power: Need 10 panels (61” by 310” or 5’ by 20 ½’ total) in series; houses with other
saving sources
Methane Gas: From waste as a power source
Uses Rankine cycle, lamps
Other Sources: Changing the size and shape of the homes
Use energy efficient appliances
Sound for energy
Solar power street lights
Biodiesel: CHP in the apartments – need zoning requirements for power
Water power

Greenroofs: reduces external temperature of the buildings; retains moisture and water in soil (requires less water to maintain); need regulations for roofs; maybe place green house in top
Worms: Makes topsoil from waste; 2lbs of worms for every 1lb of food needed; Add worm farms in basements (9lbs worms per person for waste control); sell soil, worms (tea or excrement) to fund garden
Farming: Soil-less planting and growing; types of crops; compost in soil increases water retainage; hydroponics
Greenhouse: great for year round growing; need to determine size, location and cost; backup heating and lighting system (metal halide or high pressure sodium)
Aquaponics: edible fish and produce; aquarium (recyclable – fish to plants back to fish) water maybe needed from evaporation

Start to develop a plan: Cost/Budget; Capital Operating; Efficiency; Marketability; Reliability; Constraints; Climate; Ordinances; Aesthetics; Space (Site Location)
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Original email #1

From: Swedish, Michael J []
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 4:43 PM
Subject: RE: Brainstorming the Greenest Possible Development at the 10 Acre “KK River Village”

30 August, 2007

The class that I am teaching in the Fall is an Energy Systems Project course. It is intended to expose the Mechanical Engineering students to the integration of energy systems into a complex project. What I prefer, and what has been successful in the past, is a “bottom up” energy design; that is, starting with a blank canvas. Often, the preliminary design phase is already too late to incorporate some energy features that might be desirable. The deliverable for the students will be a report to me detailing their design process, options considered, and their “best” design choices, along with supporting information. This report would be made available to you, to use or not, as you see fit. Last year, this course considered renovation of an existing building into an urban fish farm with aquaculture. We worked with Jonathan Bales on that one.

All that we would need from you is information about your vision and goals for the finished development. You would get the opportunity to expose 13 ME students to this vision of a sustainable development, and some free engineering. The students get to work on a real project, not just a classroom exercise. We can also be creative in our approach. Hopefully a win-win situation.

Professor Michael Swedish
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Original email #2

From: Ciepluch.David []
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 4:23 PM
Subject: RE: Brainstorming the Greenest Possible Development at the 10 Acre “KK River Village”

We Energies and Focus on Energy have New Construction programs through 2008 that include energy modeling. It is likely that programs will advance beyond that into future years. When the project plans become serious with preliminary building designs and brainstorming, that is when modeling should occur. Cost can run $10,000 to $20,000 or more for each modeling effort and technical support. So before a supporting program would invest in modeling, you need the core team together to begin the approach. Right now it appears early in the brainstorming process unless I am missing something more imminent happening.

You can maybe set a goal of LEED Gold for some buildings and LEED Gold for neighborhood. Mike is familiar with this since that is how the Brewery Project is working through it.

There are still a lot of old buildings along this area that either need renovation or clearing plus any environmental issues.

This KK area was my playground as a kid in growing up in Milwaukee.
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Jill F Lackey’s of Urban Anthropology’s Keen Interview in KK River Village Project

We at Urban Anthropology Inc. have a critical interest in this project. We have a settlement museum just up the street (and another one in the works in BV), have our offices just up the street, and are the organizers of the Old South Side Public Market to begin in 08 at Kosciuszko Park. However, we are fully booked today and for over a week to come and cannot make these meetings. However, we would surely want to be invited to any in the future and also any online discussions. No doubt Lincoln Village Business Association and Neil White would want to be involved.
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Be Careful About Soil Contamination!

Dear All,

There is a small road just to the east of the railroad tracks as they pass Lincoln, just to the west of KK, a bit to the east of the KK River.

I will park my red Community Roofing truck at the corner of this road and Lincoln tomorrow morning at 9:25 and walk to where we have a chance to develop a community garden and composting experiment.

My cell is 414 232 1336. Please call after 9 a.m. to say you are coming or e-mail me.

Toward victory gardens and municipal composting for self-reliance and community,


David Ciepluch replies

That is also the area that will have river cleanup from PCBs. I think the land you speak of was or is owned by an industrial business that moved to Cudahy. With the type of business, there are always potential soil contamination issues to check out. Also the proximity to the rail and the former K Mart across Chase used to be a major rail round house, notorious for spilling oils and other waste products over the decades prior to 1970. Across the street is Baran Park - former and current landfill, probably ash products. I would suspect that the bottom lands along the river were also filled since they were likely former wetland areas. Then the question is “filled with what?”. So detailed investigation would be needed if you plan on growing food. In some cases land like this may be better kept permanently vegetated with trees and prairie plants to assist in attenuating potential contamination.

Just wanted to provide you with some perspective and potential obstacles you face so you go in with eyes and minds open.

Others are also looking at the rail bed as bike and walking path. Milwaukee Riverkeepers, Sierra Club, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, etc.
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Bill Sell Replies


I visited the site with Godsil this morning. Thanks for the friendly concerns.

THAT rail bed is Amtrak. Much as I like biking around; please don’t even think about taking my train away.

Gardening can be done there if designed property. First of all, it is available space with a southern exposure, plenty of sunlight, and probably a source for water, being near buildings in use. Raised gardens can be made in such a way that the current soil is only the foundation, but not the food source for plants. Veggies are annuals, and do not typically need long roots to give us their abundance. Raised beds might work for us in this space. Poplar trees are known to have soil remediation effects, and could be planted among the veggies but with long roots.
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NJ Unaka Replies

I agree with Bill. Here’s one in Brooklyn I used to go to:
Granted in that case there turned out to be less toxins than is probably in this one, but a few feet of soil should take care of that. My question is, if you do remediation (with poplars or whatever) do the toxic chemicals remain in the plant/tree/wood from then on? If you compost that does it decay some? Do these minerals go away with anaerobic digesting? If it does decompose further in a digester, then what about flowers? They could be a source of income while doing some remediation long term.
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William Sell Replies

Poplar tress were used on the NE corner of Bay and Kinnickinnic Ave. I believe the planting was designed to remediate the soil. Perhaps it’s an idea worth pursuing; and your cautions about toxins staying in the wood of the living tree (and decaying tree) is part of what we have to learn.
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David Ciepluch Responds

You would probably want to do some sort of soil bores with a hand auger and have it tested. Raised beds can work. Poplars are used to remediate and keep liquids like oil or gasoline from moving in groundwater. Plant roots and associated critters will break down organic products over time unless they are overwhelmed. Heavy metals like lead, chrome, cadmium are another thing. I know plant root systems can remove heavy metals over time.

I know the Menomonee Valley west end soils are now growing loads of native plants. This soil is made up of waste from the last 150 years - foundry sands, ash, clay, rock, cinders, and very little organic matter. The organic matter is coming and the plants are thriving. The June rains, ducks, geese, and silt from flood water brought it all in along with seeds (some wanted, some not).
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NJ Unaka Responds

You begin to sound like uncle Aldo - Milwaukee County Almanac anyone? What about the plants? Do these minerals remain in the wood, plant or whatever end product?
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David Ciepluch Responds

Metals in solution can get tied up in plant growth. Remove above ground plant material at the end of the growing season and place in a licensed landfill. Sunflower species are supposed to do the best at it.
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