Friday, October 9, 2009

Student Stewards Partnership

RRF is developing a Student Stewards program that will engage in-coming freshman at the new University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee RiverView Residence Hall and a crew of diverse high school students living within the City of Milwaukee. Participants will experience hands-on restoration and stewardship activities in the Milwaukee River valley. Removal of invasive plant species and planting of native plants and trees will occur.

In addition, college students will be paired with and mentor high school students during the summer internship program. The goal of this project is to increase the number of minority urban students within the project area involved in environmental protection and conservation issues. The outcomes expected are increased awareness and appreciation for the river and its habitat, understanding of river systems and our impact on water quality. Exposure to college students and the university will also strengthen ideas about pursuing a college education and associated careers. This program will also encourage ongoing management of the Milwaukee River valley, a primary goal of the Foundation, and the Milwaukee River Work Group.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

RRF Celebrates Fifteen Years!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hubbard Park Lodge
5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

$50 per ticket: music, hors d'oeuvres, cash bar – silent auction

Program keynote to feature Mr. Thomas Boelter, Potawatomi Nation

For tickets, more information, or to sponsor, contact the RRF office or visit our website at

Kimberly 414-271-8000

Thanks to our event sponsors:
Frank Thometz, Morgan Stanley $2,500
Brian Dettmering, CPA, Riverwest Accounting $2,500
Kiwanis Club of Milwaukee $1,500
Rotary Club of Milwaukee $1,500
Village of Shorewood
Nonprofit Management Fund

The River Revitalization Board of Directors consists of members from the Milwaukee Rotary Club, members from the Milwaukee Kiwanis Club and members from the community "at large." We thank our board for their dedication and service to the organization.

President: Kevin Shafer
Vice President:
Secretary:Christopher Jaekels
Treasurer: Brian Dettmering

Rotary Club of Milwaukee:

  • Christopher Jaekels*
  • Sarah Kimball
  • Jan van den Kieboom
  • Don Daugherty
  • Jack Lewis
Kiwanis Club of Milwaukee:
  • Robo Brumder
  • Ron Clayton
  • TJ Estabrook
  • Jim Pittelkow
  • Frank Thometz
Members at Large:
  • Derek Clayton
  • Gary Buerstatte
  • Brian Dettmering
  • Robert Karnauskas
  • Raymond Krueger*
  • Carolynn Leaman
  • Steve Mech*
  • Kevin Shafer
  • Ghassan Korban
* Denotes Past President

    Our Mission:
    The mission of the River Revitalization Foundation is to establish a parkway for public access, walkways, recreation and education, bordering the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers; to use the rivers to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods; and to improve water quality.

    From the past to the future, we are committed to the return of this vital natural resource for all as Milwaukee's urban rivers land trust.

    Our Vision:
    The River Revitalization Foundation advocates environmental conservation, public access and sensitive recreation in metro Milwaukee’s river watersheds.

    To address critical land use issues and further the greenway concept, our primary focus includes ensuring:
    • Public access
    • Preservation of the River Valley
    • Preservation of green space in a dense urban area
    • Riparian buffers against encroaching development
    • Links with neighborhoods on both sides of the river
    • Conservation of critical habitat and wildlife areas
    By convening partners with shared vision, values and mission, we can influence planning decisions made along this corridor.

    Our Organizational Goals:
    Our long-term goal is to recreate the urban landscape using the river as a focal point. As a land trust, we will impact the quality of life through neighborhood restoration, economic vitality, conservation of natural areas, and creation of public access to these natural areas and open spaces. “Green infrastructure” addresses this concept; by incorporating open space in urban planning, we have relief, through access to these spaces, from the intensity and pace of a dense urban environment. The community would be enhanced in many ways.

    The indicators are:
    • Greenway established
    • Areas for passive recreation and fitness as well as environmental study
    • Protection of a linear corridor for wildlife habitat and migration, and aesthetic appreciation
    • Enhancement of the quality of life and pride in the nearby neighborhoods as well as for the Milwaukee community at large by protecting natural areas from encroaching development
    • Links created with the existing Oak Leaf Trail, connecting east side to northern communities with a trail to downtown, and to the lake front
    • Connection with other efforts bringing pedestrians and cyclists to the Milwaukee River such as the proposed pedestrian bridge over the North Avenue dam and the “marsupial bridge” under the Holton Street viaduct
    • Opportunities for tourists to explore the natural river environment.

    RRF as a Land Trust
    Land Trusts are established to protect land and water resources for the public benefit. River Revitalization Foundation is serving as the urban rivers land trust in Milwaukee, caring for the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers. We focus on conservation and protection of riparian corridors. This is done through land acquisition, easements, connecting green space, creating a parkway which provides public access to the river valley, and landowner education.

    We currently own land two parcels; nearly 5 acres in Riverwest just south of Gordon Park, and a 2.34 acre parcel along Southbranch Creek, a tributary to the Milwaukee River, in the Village of Brown Deer. RRF is a partner organization with the Milwaukee River Work Group (MRWG) working to protect the Milwaukee River (see home page Milwaukee Central Park link). Our guiding document, The Riverway Plan (1991), contains goals, priority recommendations and strategies to implement the plan’s main objective: to create a continuous environmental corridor, or greenway, along the Milwaukee River and address issues affecting water quality. As a land trust, we can position ourselves to accept donations of land, and can further these goals to permanently protect additional lands along the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic and Menomonee Rivers.

    This direction, approved by the board of directors in December 2003, requires increased capacity and formulation of a land protection plan, in conjunction with our land acquisition goals already defined:

    • Increase and improve public access to the river and to existing green space (utilizing the Green Infrastructure for Tomorrow “GIFT” plan among others)
    • Identify new public green spaces and trails connecting existing parks, (utilizing existing plans such as SEWRPC’s Natural Areas Plan and MMSD’s Conservation Plan among others)
    • Expand recreational opportunities (especially passive recreation)
    • Add to public enjoyment of scenic beauty, wildlife and plant species,
    • Preserve and protect wildlife habitat in these natural areas,
    • Promote sound land use and smart growth policies.

    The Milwaukee River and its adjoining lands form an extensive and highly valuable natural resource providing both a huge potential and challenge for environmental and habitat protection, water quality improvement, and human enjoyment and recreation. The River Revitalization Foundation along with our partners will continue its focus on environmental protection as a steward of the entire Milwaukee River Basin. Wisconsin’s largest metropolitan area, Milwaukee County, with a population of over 950,000, will benefit from the protection of this resource. Once it is lost, it can never be recovered.

    Our Beginnings

    The River Revitalization Foundation was established in 1994 by two of the larger service clubs in Wisconsin: Kiwanis Club of Milwaukee, and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, in response to recommendations made by the Milwaukee River Revitalization Council to improve the environmental quality of the Milwaukee River Basin. These recommendations are found in the Riverway Plan (1991), our guiding document.

    Our Partners
    The River Revitalization Foundation works in cooperation with:
    • State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    • Milwaukee County
    • City of Milwaukee
    • Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (Greenseams program administered by The Conservation Fund), 
    • National Park Service
    • Gathering Waters Conservancy
    • Kiwanis Club of Milwaukee
    • Rotary Club of Milwaukee
    • Milwaukee River Revitalization Council
    • and private landowners along the Milwaukee River.
    Charitable Status
    The River Revitalization Foundation is a certified non-profit 501(c)(3) conservation organization

    Connect With Us

    The mission of the River Revitalization Foundation is to establish a parkway for public access, walkways, recreation and education, bordering the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers; to use the rivers to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods; and to improve water quality.

    The River Revitalization Foundation is a certified non-profit 501(c)(3) conservation organization