Menu
Stories
Ken Leinbach

Ken Leinbach

Ken Leinbach is a nationally recognized science educator and leader in community-based environmental education. From a trailer in a high-crime city park, Ken has had fun facilitating the grassroots effort to create and grow the Urban Ecology Center which is the topic of his first book.

Striving to live with as little environmental impact as possible, Ken lives in the community in which he works and, not owning a car, commutes by bike, unicycle, roller blades, and occasionally even by kayak on the Milwaukee River.

 

Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:55

Your “Container” is being noticed!

As a member of our community of supporters, you have created a unique container in which kids and adults in the city can connect to nature and to each other, engage in healing the land and learn from it. It’s quite amazing really.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to swing by the Washington Park UEC Autumn Celebration. Oh my! It was amazing to see so many people out and about from the neighborhood on a cool, blustery October weekend. In our often racially divided city, these events cross relational bridges that are so needed and fun to be part of. I wish there was a measurement for smiles and laughter and exclamations of glee as people try something that they have never tried before, meet someone new and grow to love their own neighborhood.

Imagine a place where folks of all ages can get outside and explore nature near their home every day of every season of every year of their life. Everyone can join together in this endeavor – at a neighborhood ecology and community center in a nearby park; a center whose purpose is to facilitate child-adult interaction, heal the land, promote outdoor play, and educate and inspire people to understand and value nature as motivation for positive change.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 13:30

Thinking Ahead to 2022 ... and Beyond!

Perhaps you have seen the recent headlines?

Urban Ecology Center's $12 million expansion plan at Washington Park would save taxpayers
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 25, 2018

Urban Ecology Center plans $12 million expansion at Washington Park site
— Milwaukee BizTimes, May 29, 2018

Yes it’s true, with emphasis on the words “offers” and “plans.”

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 10:58

Expanding Our Reach

“Hello Urban Ecology Center! I am excited to apply to your Intensive workshop. I live in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, and have begun running environmental education programs in one of the parks. I read your book, and think the Intensive is just the training I need in order to use our current resources to create further impact, serve more schools, and educate all people to understand the importance of Environmental Eduction. We are inspired by what you have done!” — Elena

You may already know about Urban Ecology, the book I wrote last year about our story that I hoped would inspire others to take action in their own cities. But did you know that the book was only the beginning of our overall vision for change?

Friday, 23 February 2018 13:18

Happy Earth Day (almost)!

In the calendar year of holidays, Earth Day is the young upstart. Full of possibilities, but not clearly defined.

We can tick off common traditions for holidays like New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Halloween, but what about Earth Day? Yet, even without exciting customs of gift exchanges or dressing up in costume, Earth Day is celebrated in 193 countries all over the world! Cool, eh?

We’d like to help the young holiday of Earth Day have its own annual ritual to mark the important day.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 13:04

Your Winter Living Room

As the first snow flurries fell back in November, we hosted a breakfast tour to promote work of the Center. With a fire crackling in the wood stove of Riverside Park, the group had the opportunity to see an elementary school class slide into the building; boisterous laughter and chatter, followed by a miraculous corralling of the kids into a circle by our educators. With the kids now paying perfect attention, the educators say, “This is your Urban Ecology Center. Come back whenever you’d like!”

Feeling the tangible energy in the room, one tour attendee commented, “I’m going to come here and just read a book. What a wonderful place to be.”

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 11:48

All for One and One for All

We talk a lot about the impact of the work you help us do, as we should, because it’s impressive. Together we’re improving academic performance in our students. Community pride abounds. Crime is diminished. Land is healed. Jobs are created and a whole lot of learning happens. Kids, who would be inside watching a screen are outside in nature laughing, learning, and playing.

I am incredibly thankful for all we have done together, and while I can talk all day of our accomplishments, this article is a little different.

I am excited to announce that print copies of our new book — Urban Ecology: A Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities and the World — will be available for sale this fall at the Urban Ecology Center! Soon you will be able to get your very own signed copy to both support the Center and spread the word.

The e-book launched in April on Amazon and quickly rose to best seller status in the Children’s Study and the Urban Planning & Development categories … wild eh? But as great as that was, I have to admit that having a hard copy in hand will be very satisfying.

Our impact isn’t always known right away. Sometimes it surprises us years later. An individual experience at our Center expands into a huge community change.

That experience, well it’s just magical!

Monday, 15 May 2017 15:42

An International Impact

As we created Urban Ecology Center branches, we were barely thinking outside of the bounds of our neighborhoods. Our goals were all about “acting local” - protecting and enhancing Milwaukee’s natural areas and its surrounding waters. “Thinking global” was attainable, but “acting global” seemed a bit out of reach. The thought of our work having anything to do with places as far flung as Guatemala, Mexico, Israel, the Congo or Tanzania was not even possible to conceive of back in those earlier days.

Page 1 of 5

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Papermaking

Riverside Park

Monday, January 27th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

January Nature Rangers

Riverside Park

Monday, January 27th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

Find event

Connect

Email Sign-Up

Subscribe

* indicates required
Which Emails would you like to receive?

Connect Now

facebook instagram 2018 2 twitter linkedin

Get Involved

Become a member today!

Copyright © 2020 The Urban Ecology Center