Press Release

Green Infrastructure Guidebook for Schools Receives Award By American Planning Association – Wisconsin Chapter

American Planning Association – Wisconsin Chapter recognizes team’s innovative planning efforts

By - Nov 2nd, 2017 03:41 pm

MILWAUKEE (November 02, 2017)GRAEF is proud to announce the Green Infrastructure Guidebook for Schools, a project of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) has been awarded an outstanding achievement in planning award from the American Planning Association – Wisconsin Chapter (APA-WI). The award recognizes the exceptional work of the planning team, led by MMSD and GRAEF, in addition to Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC (SSE), Bray Architects, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust Inc., and The Urban Ecology Center.

The Green Infrastructure Guidebook for Schools serves as a roadmap and instructional tool to improve schoolyards and buildings with green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is a complementary or alternative approach to gray stormwater infrastructure, as it reduces and treats stormwater with added environmental, social, and economic benefits, by using vegetation, soils and other elements to restore some of the natural environmental processes. The Guidebook was awarded for innovations in planning by APA-WI. MMSD and GRAEF, a Wisconsin-based engineering planning and design firm, is joined in accepting this award along with the planning team at the conference awards luncheon on Friday, October 27, 2017 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

“We were thrilled to accept the challenge to create an original plan that provides the full cycle of green infrastructure,” said Stephanie Hacker, Practice Area Leader of the Planning + Urban Design Group at GRAEF. “From planning to maintenance and monitoring, we feel this unique plan will help scale-up green infrastructure in the region.”

Released in 2017, the Green Infrastructure Guidebook for Schools addresses the 524 schools and the seven watersheds with 91-square-miles of impervious surfaces in MMSD’s jurisdiction. The plan, however, may be applied to any land use, beyond schools. The plan is built to help MMSD meet its ambitious goal of capturing the first ½ inch of rainfall on the impervious surfaces of its jurisdiction by 2035.

“This plan, which acts more like a toolkit to its users, has already been instrumental in the planning of future schoolyards and buildings,” said Lisa Sasso, Project Manager at MMSD. “This guide successfully addresses broader efforts in green infrastructure, including stormwater management and reduction of impervious surfaces.”

About MMSD
MMSD is a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services for about 1.1 million people in 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area. We serve 411 square miles that cover all, or segments of, six watersheds. Established by state law, the District is governed by 11 commissioners with taxing authority. For more information, visit:

GRAEF is an employee-owned, full-service engineering, planning and design firm with proven expertise in planning; landscape and industrial architecture; operations consulting; and structural, civil, transportation, MEP, and environmental engineering. GRAEF serves public and private clients from its offices in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Orlando, Florida and Minnesota, Minneapolis. For more than 50 years, GRAEF has demonstrated its commitment to continuously adapting to meet the changing needs of the industry and its clients. For more information, visit:

About Bray Architects
Bray Architects was founded in 1962 and provides master planning, architectural, and interior design services. As Wisconsin’s recognized leader in K-12 educational design, Bray is committed to designing spaces that enhance the way students learn and teachers teach. Over the past 55 years, the firm has continued to strengthen its K-12 expertise while also evolving into a diverse group of specialists focusing on higher education, municipal/governmental, public safety, sports & recreation, performing arts, corporate & financial, and STEM. For more information, please visit:

About The Urban Ecology Center
Founded in 1991, The Urban Ecology Center is a nonprofit organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their mission is to educate the Milwaukee community about the environment, conservation, sustainability, and other issues related to urban ecology, as well as to preserve and protect the natural areas in the city. Their environmental education programs include programs for teachers, pre-schoolers, and all other ages of schoolchildren. They are Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) members, partnering with schools to provide students with ongoing learning opportunities. For more information, visit:

About Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC (SSE)
Founded in 2002 by Carrie Bristoll-Groll, Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC is a civil engineering design firm specializing in drainage design, comprehensive storm water management planning, flood control, hydraulic analysis, conveyance design and integrated site design. Their mission is to provide stewardship of our lakes and stream through quality engineering and environmentally sound design. For more information, visit

About Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc.
Since 2008, Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., (Sweet Water) remains committed to restoring the Greater Milwaukee watersheds to conditions that are healthy for swimming and fishing. Sweet Water brings diverse partners together and provides the leadership and innovation necessary to protect and restore shared water resources. For more information, visit

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