HNTB is donating winnings from a design contest with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to Reflo, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating sustainable water use and green infrastructure.
In February, MMSD awarded the HNTB team first place and $5,000 in the “Green Infrastructure Overpass Design Contest” for its conceptual design that uses the space beneath overpasses to create stormwater tree farms.
Reflo plans to use the funds for the development of its portable Outdoor Discovery Carts. Reflo, the Green Schools Consortium of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Public Schools use these carts to support schoolyard maintenance and outdoor curricular activities at local schools. The carts are outfitted with gardening tools and education supplies to promote environmental stewardship and facilitate outdoor learning exercises.
“We applaud the MMSD and the Elizabeth J. Tellier Foundation for conducting the ‘Green Infrastructure Overpass Design Contest,’ and we’re thrilled to donate our contest winnings to Reflo for the production of new carts,” said Ashley Booth, HNTB Wisconsin office leader and vice president. “It’s important to all of us at HNTB to support sustainable water solutions locally and eco-friendly initiatives that improve the environment. Reflo’s carts make outdoor learning opportunities more accessible to the local community, and they provide awareness for students and Milwaukee residents of the importance of the environment and access to an improved quality of life.”
“We are grateful that HNTB has chosen to donate their prize money to Reflo,” said Kevin Shafer of MMSD. “Through this partnership, more Milwaukee residents will learn about the importance of stormwater management, flood risk reduction and the environment, which reinforces our mission of improving water resource quality in the region.”
For more than three years, Reflo has worked to develop the Outdoor Discovery Cart for Milwaukee area schools and green infrastructure education. Reflo owns a provisional patent on the cart and, to date, has built and delivered 10 of these educational carts to local schools and parks.
“HNTB’s sponsorship will be instrumental in allowing us to expand the production of the carts to support even more schools and community-based educational programs,” said Justin Hegarty, executive director of Reflo. “HNTB has been a fantastic partner over the years. In 2018, HNTB worked with us on the rainwater harvesting project Alice’s Garden, one of Milwaukee’s most extensive community-supported gardens, which provides a model of regenerative farming and community cultural development on a global scale.”