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Earth Week Keynote: Ken Leinbach, founder of the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee: “It’s Kinda Fun to do the Impossible: Finding Abundance in Urban Communities”

April 27, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Thursday April 27, 5-8 pm, Sage 1210: Earth Week Keynote 

Ken Leinbach, founder of the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee: “It’s Kinda Fun to do the Impossible: Finding Abundance in Urban Communities” 

The rags-to-riches story of how the Urban Ecology Center grew from a double wide trailer in a high crime park into a global education model fostering ecological understanding as inspiration for change. Will the next Urban Ecology Center be in Oshkosh? Come find out!

Copies of Ken’s Book, “Urban Ecology,” will be available for sale. 

Co-sponsored by Sociology, UWO Speaker Series, Wildlife Conservation Club 

Speaker Biography: 

Ken Leinbach, an internationally recognized author, science educator, and leader in community-based education is best known for his work creating the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. The Center’s formula of using environmental education as a tool for inspiring urban revitalization has captured the attention of city leaders across the globe. Ken and the Urban Ecology Center have been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Orion Magazine, Milwaukee Public Television, and in Richard Louv’s best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods. 

Ken, a certified high school teacher, holds a biology degree from Antioch College, a master’s degree from Prescott College, and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. His awards have followed his work, including the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Natural Science (Virginia), Nature Educator of the Year from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (New York), and the Martin Luther King Award (Milwaukee). A public speaker on topics including green living, finding abundance, and play, Ken authored Urban Ecology: A Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities, and the World and is now training people from cities across the globe on the Center’s mission of connecting people in cities to nature and each other. 

Ken is a member of the Governor-appointed Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Council and a founding member of the international Academy for Systems Change. He lives in the neighborhood in which he works, having created the Hawks Nest, an intentional community and Airbnb located in the heart of Milwaukee. 

Because he chooses not to own a car, Ken can be seen commuting to work by bike, unicycle, or on occasion, kayak. 


April 27, 2023
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm