Working Together

Urban Connections Chalkboard style map graphic.

Who We Are

Urban Connections is an outreach program for the Eastern Region of the USDA Forest Service.  Our program is based on a simple idea:  reaching out to urban communities and building alliances to compliment the Forest Service mission of “Caring for the Land and Serving People.”

The Forest Service has a long history of working with people who live in close proximity to national forests. While this is of great value, we seek to expand this involvement to citizens who live in major metropolitan areas. Urban Connections coordinates with all three Forest Service branches [State & Private Forestry; Research and Development; and the National Forest System] to build strong relationships interested citizens, urban leaders, interagency partners, nonprofit organizations, and non-government organizations.

The Eastern Region has nine of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, making it uniquely positioned to connect with diverse and underserved citizens. The Urban Connections Program currently works within the communities of Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit.  


Our Partnerships


Promoting Environmental Education and Job Training for Detroit Teens

Green Corps Teens with PPE and tools

Urban Connections has a long-standing partnership with The Greening of Detroit’s Green Corps. It's an employment opportunity program where high school students learn environmental stewardship, planting, tree maintenance, urban gardening, and practical information about green careers.

A Different Kind of Summer Job: Youth Conservation Corps on the Hiawatha

Hiawatha YCC

Deep in the heart of the Hiawatha National Forest, Clear Lake is surrounded by white birch trees and red pine, black-eyed Susan and milkweed growing in patches of sun, and the remarkably clear lake for which the center is named.

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