MKE IT Downtown

Celebrate Jane Jacobs with Free Community Walks in May

May 1, 2019 /   Jane Jacobs Milwaukee Downtown Jane's Walk MKE

Jane's Walk MKE Jane Jacobs Milwaukee DowntownIn its fourth year, Jane’s Walk MKE encourages people to walk, talk, explore, and reimagine our city together during the month of May. There are more than 40 free, community-led tours and explorations to engage people in exploring their own neighborhoods and others around the city. The all-volunteer effort includes walks and talks as well as paddle events and bike rides. More than 1,000 people laced up their shoes and hit the streets during the 2018 Jane’s Walk MKE. This year, the month kicks off with a “Ballroom Block Party” on Wednesday, May 1, at Turner Hall Ballroom.

Jane's Walk MKE Milwaukee DowntownJane’s Walk MKE is part of a worldwide movement of more than 200 cities hosting free, resident-led walking tours, inspired by urbanist, writer and activist Jane Jacobs. Milwaukee is unique in that it offers one of the largest efforts worldwide by expanding from one weekend to the whole month. Jacobs (1916-2006) championed the voices of everyday people in neighborhood planning and city-building. She is the subject of the critically acclaimed 2017 documentary Citizen Jane. and author of the classic Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Jane's Walk MKEThe Ballroom Block Party is a free event at Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, May 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The evening’s multi-faceted format was inspired by the Project for Public Spaces' Power of 10 concept, which argues that "places thrive when users have a range of reasons (10+) to be there.” Attendees will experience art, music, Milwaukee trivia, food and drink, fun photo opportunities, and “sidewalks” lined with organizations dedicated to making Milwaukee better for all through neighborhood- and community-building efforts. Learn more and register at

Here is a sample of free community-led explorations available to all. View the continuously growing list and register for events at

  1. Wednesday, May 1: Kickoff celebration - Ballroom Block Party at Turner Hall
  2. Friday, May 3: Thoroughly Modernist Milwaukee-A TGIF Stroll
  3. Saturday, May 4: Cambridge Woods Neighborhood Walk
  4. Saturday, May 4: Connecting Water & Art in the Garden Homes Neighborhood
  5. Saturday, May 4: Koch Walk (downtown)
  6. Saturday, May 4: Reclamation & Restoration in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor
  7. Saturday, May 4: Lincoln Park SpringFest Walk
  8. Saturday, May 4: Inaugural Hank Aaron State Trail Spring Ride & Sculpture Unveiling
  9. Sunday, May 5: East-to-West Night Hike
  10. Sunday, May 5: Urban Wilderness Paddle in Lincoln Park
  11. Sunday, May 5: Center Peace (Sherman Park)
  12. Sunday, May 5: Complete the Eight-Hour Day March (Bay View)
  13. Wednesday, May 8: Jane’s Walk - Bay View
  14. Friday, May 10: ZIP MKE’s 28 in 28 Tour: 53202
  15. Saturday, May 11: Back Down Memory Lane (Villard Avenue)
  16. Saturday, May 11: Hike the Gorge!
  17. Saturday, May 11: Connections and Reconnections: Lakefront Brewery and Brady Street
  18. Saturday, May 11: A Walk with Neighbors from Lindsay Park to Nash Park
  19. Saturday, May 11: Jones Walk (on Jones Island)
  20. May 11 & May 12: Milwaukee's Vanishing LGBTQ Landmarks (Walker’s Point)
  21. Sunday, May 12: Welcome to Forest Home Cemetery
  22. Monday, May 13: 20 Years of Creative Transformation in the Menomonee River Valley
  23. Wednesday, May 15: The hidden beauty of Milwaukee River Greenway
  24. Friday, May 17: ZIP MKE’s 28 in 28 Tour: 53203
  25. Friday, May 17: What’s cool and new in Riverwest
  26. Friday, May 17: Bike-In Movie Series Kickoff - 88Nine’s INVISIBLE LINES
  27. May 18 & May 19: Through a glass darkly - Hike the Milwaukee River Trails
  28. Saturday, May 18: Bike the Brown Deer Trail
  29. Saturday, May 18: Wisconsin Ave to New State Theater - Transforming a Commercial Corridor
  30. Saturday, May 18: Westown Walking Tour - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
  31. Sunday, May 19: Poetry WALK in Juneau Park
  32. Sunday, May 19: Building a Healthy, Sustainable Neighborhood for All
  33. Sunday, May 19: Milwaukee's Women in History at Forest Home Cemetery
  34. Sunday, May 19: The Hartung Park Story: From Quarry to Landfill to Urban Park
  35. Sunday, May 19: Lindsay Heights - Economic & Green Renewal
  36. Thursday, May 23: Discover the Kinnickinnic River!
  37. Thursday, May 23: KK River Trail Gap
  38. Thursday, May 23: Yield Tosa - Crosswalk Audit of North Avenue
  39. Thursday, May 23: Safer Passages: Hawley Road Diet Post Walk/Bike
  40. Friday, May 24: ZIP MKE’s 28 in 28: 53204
  41. Sunday, May 26: Urban Food Roots Walk
  42. Wednesday, May 29: Milwaukee's RiverWalk (downtown)
  43. Friday, May 31: ZIP MKE’s 28 in 28: 53205

Jane’s Walk MKE is an all-volunteer effort made possible through an organizing committee and dozens of community partners and residents striving to engage and reimagine our city through observation, dialogue, education, and storytelling. Jane’s Walk MKE is a local program of Milwaukee Turners.

Jane’s Walk MKE’s mission is to organize free, resident-led neighborhood explorations and building community connections that embody urban activist Jane Jacobs’ legacy through observing and dialogue, education and storytelling, and collectively reimagining and changing the places in which Milwaukeeans live, work, and play. We believe in building a “walkable and talkable” city, planned for and by citizens. We envision a Milwaukee that has, to borrow from Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities,“ the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, [it is] created by everybody.”

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