Transforming Parks: A Case Study Approach for Connecting Communities to Nature


The Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee invites organizations in other cities to learn from its experience as an environmental education community center with a mission of connecting people in cities to nature and each other. What grew out of a friends-of-the-park group in the late 1990s now operates three branches in different neighborhoods, serving diverse urban populations. Replicating the model requires a focus on hyper-local conditions and a strong commitment from the surrounding community. This Peer-to-Peer conversation takes a case-study approach in sharing its experiment with other leaders who want to transform their cities and parks with an ecosystem of programs that reach kids, families, and adults on a daily basis, and finding partner organizations, including local businesses and non-profits, who are seeking engagement and require distinctive leadership to coordinate their shared goals.


Chris Young

Professor, Project Manager, Urban Ecology Center