Elevating Sustainability Efforts and Collaborations: WaterMarks Voices

Feb 10, 2021 11:00 AM ET

In February, a series of videos will be released by the WaterMarks initiative showcasing perspectives from leaders from corporate, non-profit, and civic organizations who collaborated to launch improvements to Milwaukee’s waterfront. These partners are committed to improving the quality and access to public space leading to Lake Michigan in a sustainable, equitable way, while including opportunities for research and community development. The first result of this collaboration was the opening of the Harbor View Plaza, a project supported by Rockwell Automation. 

To launch the project, Gary Ballesteros, vice president, law and chief compliance officer and ombuds at Rockwell Automation, joined leaders from the nonprofit Harbor District, Inc., the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and the nonprofit Reflo’s Milwaukee Water Stories program to share his thoughts on the water-land use projects, which border Rockwell Automation’s global headquarters in Milwaukee. As an avid kayaker and environmentalist, Ballesteros discussed how a thoughtful approach is needed for this unique area, which encompasses industrial plants, neighborhoods, a working port, and schools.

“This whole area is changing rapidly for the better,” Ballesteros commented. “I’ve worked at our Rockwell headquarters for the past 25 years, and while there have been ongoing conversations about improving the waterfront use and area, I haven’t seen anything actually happen until these past few years. And it’s exciting.”

Ballesteros credits the Harbor District for effectively bringing in stakeholders to create “a sensible and sustainable way to revitalize this area.”

Often cited by local leaders as the “fresh coast,” the next stages of redevelopment and revitalization for the area include extending Milwaukee’s Riverwalk to the city’s South Side. Additionally, the Greenfield Avenue corridor near Rockwell’s headquarters will have physical place markers installed this summer to promote videos from stakeholders in this revitalization effort.

To view Ballesteros’ video, visit here https://www.watermarksmke.org/gary-ballesteros.