Saturday, September 30




This in-depth tour of the Menomonee Valley will happen one time only. We will take you on a behind-the-scenes adventure where you will experience rarely seen sides of the Menomonee Valley and some of the companies that have helped to shape Milwaukee.

Hop aboard and get your tickets quickly, seats are limited and this tour will sell out fast!

You will be entering fully operational manufacturing facilities - you wear long pants and closed-toed shoes, we'll provide the hard hats! 

$35 Gets You:
– 4 Neighborhood Stops (and bonus stop in Three Bridges Park!)
– Bus Tour by Storyteller Adam Carr
– Complimentary snacks
– Complimentary beverages on the bus

Schedule: Meet at the Urban Ecology Center - Menomonee Valley (3700 W Pierce St, Milwaukee, WI, 53215)

Overview: Complimentary drinks, snacks, and a guided Behind-, Below-, and Above-the-Scenes journey through some of the most interesting sites you've never heard of in the Menomonee Valley!

1st Stop: Komatsu Mining Corp (previously Harnishfegher, P&H, and most recently Joy Global) is a mining equipment manufacturer with 133 years of history and nearly 1,000 employees in Milwaukee. Komatsu makes some of the world’s largest mining machines. You have probably seen the large shovel on the corner of National Ave and Miller Park Way! This is your chance to step inside and get a glimpse at how these huge machines are made and how this export economy imports dollars to our city. Komatsu is indispensable to the mining, forestry, industrial and construction industries.

2nd Stop: The Rexnord Corporation has been around under various names for over a century. Just like manufacturing has changed over the decades, this company has too and has been called Chain Belt Company, Rex Chainbelt, Nordberg Manufacturing, The Falk Corporation, and finally Rexnord. Sixteen percent of the Milwaukee region’s workforce is employed in manufacturing, ranking second in the nation among the top 50 metro areas for manufacturing jobs. Join us as we explore the factory floor and the transformation and reinvention of one of Milwaukee's oldest companies. 

Bonus Stop: Three Bridges Park is a 24-acre park and nature area in the heart of Milwaukee. The park is an amazing green space along the river, but you'll be impressed by its purpose to meet broader sustainability and social equity goals. 

3rd Stop: Forest County Potawatomi Biodigester - The Potawatomi tribe first occupied the Menomonee Valley hundreds of years ago. At that time, the Valley flourished with natural resources and provided a bounty for many Native American tribes. Many years later the Valley served as an industrial center, and later became blighted and deteriorated into toxic brown fields. This remained a desolate area until the Forest County Potawatomi regained some of this territory and became the first to invest in refurbishing the land, bringing new development to the Menomonee Valley. You have certainly heart of the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino (then Potawatomi Bingo), the first off-reservation casino in the country and still the only one of its kind in the state of Wisconsin, but do you know about the biodigester?

The Forest County Potawatomi’s biodigester is a renewable energy power plant.  It is powered by food waste that is converted into methane by anaerobic digestion. The methane powers two 1 megawatt internal combustion engines. We'll see the unloading bay, pump room, foodstock tanks and digesters, laboratory, electrical control room, and generators. The biodigester is uniquely tied to the future of the Menomonee Valley - come see why.

You must wear closed toe shoes and long pants.  Areas may be wet and smelly. It is hot and noisy in other areas. 

4th Stop: Cream City Yards and future home of BrewCity Crossfit - What do industrial buildings that have sat vacant for decades look like before a business transforms them into cool space with exposed brickwork and features of times gone by? No one gets into these buildings which are on the market for redevelopment, but you'll have the chance to see them in their raw space. This is part of Gueder, Paeschke & Frey's tinware manufacturing facility from the late-1800s through most of the 1900s. 

BrewCity Crossfit's new location is tucked away under the 16th Street Viaduct and is in mid-renovation at 1601 W St. Paul Ave - you'll never see it in this state again. As a matter of fact, you should get a good look at the whole street while you're here. With seven business moves recently completed or in progress,  St. Paul Ave is undergoing a facelift but will retain its historic and industrial charm. 

 Photo: Komatsu Mining Corp.

Photo: Komatsu Mining Corp.

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