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Mayes Wilson & Associates

“Walking the talk”

Living Sustainably

While living in U.S. Virgin Islands, I was in a community that valued water, and made use of every drop. In Milwaukee I wanted to commit to water conservation by investing in a water catchment and reuse system, assisted by grants from the Milwaukee Sewerage District. The Bike Path Building is a zero runoff property on which all rainwater is captured and reused to irrigate the roof garden and orchard.

Installing MWA’s Green Infrastructure

These images give you a peek at our green infrastructure—the rooftop garden—at the MWA office located in the heart of a busy urban area.

1.    Early Construction, with a side view from the street. When hardhats and cranes are required, you know it is a serious garden install.

MWA-Construction Begins

2.     Waterproofing the building. Not an easy job.  After a number of leaks, the third time proved to be the charm.


3.     Installing the water retention blocks and planting media.  After the substructure was leak-proof, materials to capture and retain water for reuse are installed.


4.     Success.  A garden of natives, ornamental plants and veggies.  Having soil depths ranging from 6 inches to 18 inches provides options for plant diversity. Notice the tree in the corner! We are enjoying the benefits of the garden as a gorgeous place to sit and enjoy nature including monarch butterflies and a variety of birds within the busy city.


Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how this system is the first of its kind in a Milwaukee residence.

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