Deliver Benefits to the Public

Milwaukee Urban Tree House Community Day connects people to the outdoors

Boy holding homade, wood pendant of Smokey the Bear
Attendees to Lynden Hill’s September 7, 2019, community day had the opportunity to make Smokey Bear ornaments reminding everyone that “only you can prevent wildfires!” USDA Forest Service photo.

WISCONSIN – On a recent sunny September morning, 130 residents of the Midtown neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, gathered to spend time with their neighbors and enjoy their beautiful neighborhood green space Lynden Hill, Milwaukee’s Urban Tree House site. 

Throughout the day, residents interacted with Lynden Hill partners as they shared information about the environment, health and community safety. The USDA Forest Service Urban Connections program, a longtime partner at the site, shared information about forests, wildlife, pollinators, wildfire safety and the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. Residents also enjoyed games, nature activities, music and a picnic lunch.  

Lynden Hill, a 3-acre greenspace located just a few miles from downtown Milwaukee, was designated as an Urban Tree House site over 18 years ago. The Urban Tree House Program, a cooperative, community based, environmental education program, was created in 1991 by USDS Forest Service Researcher Barbara McDonald. Five national sites were dedicated and are now managed by a varied group of partners, depending on community interest, needs and available funding. 

The goal of the Urban Tree House Program is to provide opportunities for urban residents to get outdoors and enjoy nature in their own communities, to become environmental stewards and to understand the connection of local green spaces to our public lands.

The Lynden Hill Urban Tree House Site, managed by Greening Milwaukee, continues to be a place for neighborhood residents to get outdoors in their community and enjoy nature. Over the years, the Forest Service, along with partners, has participated in environmental education programs as well as National Public Lands Day, National Get Outdoors Day and Earth Day events at the site.

People gathered in a local park
Attendees gather for Community Day at Milwaukee’s Lynden Hill Urban Treehouse site. USDA Forest Service photo.