Sigma helps transform Milwaukee County Park beach area


The Sigma Group was selected by Milwaukee County to evaluate South Shore Park beach and its parking lot for current and future needs to enhance the public use experience with a focus on improving water quality. Given the magnificent natural assets for the Lake Michigan shoreline combined with the diversity of uses, and recognizing the poor condition of the pavement serving traffic flow, Milwaukee County was keenly interested in developing a plan to address the needs of stakeholders that would also work to improve water quality associated with storm water, swimming and boating activities.

Sigma led a design team to develop a conceptual plan rooted in ecological performance while also achieving the objectives of multiple stakeholders. The plan was created with a much-needed realignment of the South Shore Park traffic flow, way finding, Oak Leaf Trail bike/pedestrian and maritime atmosphere.

Focusing on stormwater management and water quality protection for boating activities such as washing and fish cleaning, the Sigma team considered a stormwater strategy to do more than just meet current regulated pollutant reductions (NPDES, WDNR, and MMSD), but also showcase active water stewardship. This means the bioremediation layout directly integrates with roads, parking lots, bike paths, and sidewalks within a comprehensive stormwater design.

Community involvement is a key component of the conceptual design development. With an array of park users and visitors to Milwaukee County Parks lakeshore beaches and amenities, it was important to consider alternatives while seeking public input. Public information forums were promoted through contact formats held at the Park pavilion to present concepts for discussion and feedback.