Beerline Trail Neighborhood Development Project
The Beerline Trail, formerly an underutilized railroad right-of-way that lays diagonally across the Milwaukee neighborhoods of Harambee and Riverwest, has undergone a transformation over the past 15 years. Since 2002, community members have been working to clear the railroad and develop a trail bridging the two unique neighborhoods. Now paved and equipped with public art pieces, seating space, and park programming, the Beerline Trail has become an opportunity to catalyze community development and neighborhood connection through art and green space.
In 2014, the Riverworks Center and the Greater Milwaukee Committee, teamed up with the City of Milwaukee, the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative, MKE<->LAX, and other cultural and community leadership, to form the Guiding Lenses Group to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders and to begin implementation of community driven, creative programming on the trail. Following a strategic action session in 2015, the GMC and its partners began to plan and launch the Beerline Trail Neighborhood Development Project to unify arts and culture with community development, to create civic gathering places, and to amplify local voices.
As a vibrant public space, the trail serves as a symbol of Milwaukee’s focus on access and equity. Through the Beerline Trail Neighborhood Development Project, the GMC and its partners are uniting two intersecting neighborhoods as a hub for artists, makers, and other creative entrepreneurs. With significant support from the Kresge Foundation and Artplace America, the GMC and its partners are able to continue building towards a community vision. Currently, the GMC is working with the Hood Design Studio to create a comprehensive plan for creative trail design and equitable implementation. The GMC looks forward to publicly sharing all design plans once finalized.
North Star Statement
Our intention is to sustain and enrich the lives of people in Harambee and Riverwest by promoting health, well-being and prosperity through increased circulation of resources, voices, ideas, labor and creativity.
For full project report, click here
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