A Beacon for the Environment

Thanks to the generosity of so many people, we have been able to restore the North Point Lighthouse and Museum into a unique destination, where the stories of the people and events that shaped the maritime history of Milwaukee are told to visitors from all over the world.

Now, we are embarking upon a new venture to improve the historic lighthouse grounds with a new driveway and, in partnership with Milwaukee County Parks, to restore the eroded lower portion of the south lighthouse ravine. The purpose of the project is to reduce and filter contaminated storm water before it flows down the bluff to Bradford Beach and into Lake Michigan.

Protecting and Sustaining the Environment

The illustrations below demonstrate how our new green infrastructure initiative will protect and sustain the lighthouse grounds and surrounding park environment.

Our driveway and parking lot have recently been resurfaced with porous pavement blocks to retain storm water and direct overflow to an existing rain garden on the west lawn. This rain garden was also recently expanded to handle the additional overflow from the new driveway.


A second rain garden will be created along the north ravine, east of the lighthouse and museum, to receive and absorb roof drainage from the museum building. The plant roots of perennials and native plants and soil in the rain gardens act as sponges, soaking up runoff to help purify pollutants and lessen any overflow into the north ravine.

Regenerative Storm Water Conveyance

Storm water that flows into the restored south ravine will be filtered through a green infrastructure management system called Regenerative Storm Water Conveyance or RSC. RSC involves creating a series of natural step pools that will slow and filter the storm water that runs down the bluff before it reaches the existing storm water management protections installed at Bradford Beach a few years ago.

In addition, the RSC storm water management system will be electronically monitored and information will be presented on a “dashboard” display in our museum. The display will provide data in real time about storm water levels in the ravine and allow visitors to the lighthouse museum to see how storm water management connects with other restorative improvements already installed at Bradford Beach.

How You Can Help

The North Point Lighthouse Friends and Milwaukee County Parks have in place grant funding for all but $50,000 of the $284,000 needed to install the porous pavement driveway and RSC storm water management system in the south ravine.

We are excited about this project and ready to start. Now, we need your help in raising the final $50,000 before construction is completed this summer. We are asking for your contribution to the North Point Lighthouse Friends to help us reach our $50,000 goal in the next two months.

Please Donate Today

You can contribute immediately by clicking here to donate online.

For more information, please email Operations Director May Klisch, keeper@northpointlighthouse.org, or call, 414-332-6754. One of our Board Directors will follow up with you by phone to answer questions you may have and/or help you complete your contribution to North Point Lighthouse Friends.

For over 100 years, the North Point Lighthouse served as a beacon of safety for ships on Lake Michigan. Today, it can be a shining example of what we can do as a community to safely protect and sustain the environment of one of Milwaukee’s most beautiful parks.

Thank you for what you have already done and what you can do now to help us push this venture to completion.

John Scripp

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Here is our photo album dedicated to this project: