By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 22, 2019 at 8:15 AM

The retired co-founders of Walnut Way Conservation Corp. will break ground on a new $1 million development in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood this week.

Along with their development partners, Sharon and Larry Adams – who founded Walnut Way and are still on its board – host what they’re calling a Groundswell Celebration to kick off construction of Adams Garden Park.

The project, near the Walnut Way headquarters, includes the renovation of an entire block at 1836 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Thursday, May 23, at 4 p.m. A brief program is slated to start at 5.

Adams Garden Park will renovate a vacant retail building erected in 1898, as well as adjacent lots into what they’re calling a "vibrant environmental hub for organizations promoting clean air, pure water, healthy land and green jobs in Milwaukee."

Among the tenant partners on the development are the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium, Milwaukee Water Commons, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, and Walnut Way’s Blue Skies Landscaping Program.

Last year, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reported that the couple purchased the 10,360 square feet of land from the City of Milwaukee for $500 last year.

According to a statement issued by the developers, "The Adams Garden Park environmental hub will be a welcoming home for everyone who is committed to stewarding natural resources – neighbors, educators, naturalists, sustainable business owners, activists, gardeners and researchers.

"The beautifully renovated offices and open convening spaces will promote synergy among partners and promote access to experiential education for youth and families in the community. Set in a landscape oasis, the surrounding gardens will help residents experience the healing and inspirational beauty of nature in the center of the city."

The Adams have partnered with Mayer|Helminiak Architects and contractors Craftsman Restoration Guild and Jordan Construction Services, as well as Fix Development’s Juli Kaufmann, who has served in an advisory role.

"We develop commercial real estate as sacred places for the common good," sais Sharon Adams, who is also a Lindsay Heights resident. "We are investing in blighted commercial spaces as pathways for learning, safe and beautiful spaces and long-term economic viability."

The site is near other Alice’s Garden, The Juice Kitchen, Running Rebels, the recently opened Legacy Lofts and 20-Ton Studios and the planned site of a new hotel, located in the former Sears Building at Fond du Lac and North. It is also two doors down from The Tandem restaurant.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.