In 2012, Rick and Lisa Roszkowski led the volunteer effort to build the Cherry Street Community Garden, working with SET Ministries and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM). In 2016, Rick and Lisa were honored as Volunteers of the Year by HACM. And, in 2018, Rick and Lisa helped establish another community garden at HACM’s Riverview apartment building.
As donors and volunteers with SET Ministry, we learned about the challenges facing people in central city Milwaukee and the benefits of community-based support programs. Unfortunately, shortly after a merger and renaming of the organization to Unison, the organization closed its doors in March 2019. Still dedicated to the mission, we spearheaded the founding of BloomMKE in June 2019 to continue stewardship of these gardens and to expand the footprint served by incorporating youth education programs using the Cherry Street Community Garden as the canvas for children to expand their horizons.
In 2022, the Cherry Street Community Garden celebrated our ten year anniversary with BloomMKE receiving a proclamation from the Office of the Mayor declaring July 30, 2022 to be BloomMKE Day in the city of Milwaukee.