Site preparation begins for intergenerational community
Trees removed from site featured in buildings; design employs ecologically sound practices
Construction will soon begin for the future home of the intergenerational housing community on the north side of Mount Mary’s campus.
The $45 million housing development by Mount Mary University, the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province and Milwaukee Catholic Home will provide a vibrant, intergenerational living environment for Sisters and seniors, and an educational and supportive housing option for single mothers who are students at Mount Mary University.
The project is moving forward with careful environmental considerations:
- In preparation for this work, approximately 300 trees were removed from the construction zone west of the wooded area along Burleigh Street. The majority of these trees (255 total) consisted of non-native Scotch pine trees that were diseased and reaching their end of life.
- The 10-acre forested area on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the construction area will not be affected by the construction project. This area includes a high-quality second-growth southern mesic forest. This type of forest, with soaring canopy trees and great biodiversity, is rare in Milwaukee County and a treasured campus resource.
- To ensure the environment aligns with the campus and the landscape, a number of mitigation features are included in the design, including 6,000 square feet of rain garden plantings, and a retention pond to minimize water runoff.
- Native plants will be integrated throughout the grounds.
- The parking lot will utilize porous pavers, supported by a $1.3 million grant from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
To identify the tree removal necessary for this project, Mount Mary engaged two arborists from the engineering firm R.A. Smith to study the area, complete an inventory to identify and assess the health of all trees, and to identify “legacy” trees of ecological significance. All the legacy trees have been protected and preserved during this process.
The removal method is consistent with best management practices standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
These trees have been – and remain – a valuable resource to the campus environment and they will continue to contribute to the good of all:
- The pine trees will be transported to paper mills in Kaukauna, Wis., to be repurposed.
- The remaining hardwood trees will be used for various purposes. The boards from several trees will be integrated into the design of interior walls for our new buildings, including bur oak, sugar maple, hickory, elm, ash and pine.
- The remaining lumber will be sold and used for saw logs and other construction.
“As this project moves forward, the Mount Mary grounds will bear the effects of temporary disruption,” said Mount Mary President Christine Pharr, Ph.D. “But as partners, we stand committed in our care for God’s creation and in our vision of an intergenerational community that is truly built for all.”
“This type of project is only possible when sustainability is present, both in spirit and in practice,” said Pharr.
As the construction process begins, regular updates will be posted at www.mtmary.edu/future.