Environment
3:05 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Home Gr/Own Could Bring Urban Ag Innovation Dollars to Milwaukee

Local Victory Garden initiative hatches idea that captured attention of national innovation competition.

A small team representing Milwaukee will head to New York later this week.

Gretchen Mead spearheaded Victory Garden Initiative and came up with winning concept that's being considered for a national innovation prize.
Credit Troye Fox

Milwaukee has been chosen as a finalist for what’s called, The Mayor's Challenge.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the contest.

He invited cities to share innovative ways of solving urban problems, with the top idea capturing a $5 million prize.

Milwaukee is among 300 cities that submitted plans.

Milwaukee has been making a name for itself in the field of urban agriculture.

Will Allen founded Growing Power here, and his "grow local" movement has been catching on worldwide.

The city's entry builds on the urban gardens that increasingly dot its landscape.

Milwaukee's Home Gr/Own idea transforms foreclosed properties into urban farms and links them with shared community kitchens and distribution centers.

Mayor Tom Barrett says the approach could create economic development in distressed neighborhoods.

The 20 finalists now head to New York City to fine tune their proposals.

Mayor Bloomberg will announce five winners in mid 2013.

While the top entry will win $5 million to bolster efforts, the runners up will each receive $1 million.

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