Ken Leinbach, an internationally recognized author, science educator and leader in community-based environmental education is best known for his work facilitating the creation of 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 urban planners and educators across the globe.
Ken and the Urban Ecology Center have been featured in local and national media outlets, including The New York Times, Milwaukee Magazine, Orion Magazine, Milwaukee Public Television, and in Richard Louv’s best-selling book —The Last Child in the Woods.
With his contagious energy Ken speaks on a variety of topics, including sustainable design, urban environmental education, seven planetary conditions of concern, finding abundance, the power of story, leadership, the practice of play, and the meaning of life based on the letter P — the focus of his in-process second book.
Ken, a certified high school teacher with over 30 years of experience teaching and developing environmental science programs, holds a biology degree from Antioch College, a master’s degree in environmental education from Prescott College, and an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. His awards list is long, and includes the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Natural Science (Virginia), Nature Educator of the Year from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (New York), the Martin Luther King Award from St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church (Milwaukee), and the Harvard Business School scholarship for strategic perspectives in nonprofit management which lead to the Green NonProfit Leader of the Year from the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Ken is a member of the Governor-appointed Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Council, and is a founding member of the Academy for Systems Change, an international leadership program focused on global change. He lives in the community in which he works and runs an Airbnb location out of his home, called the Hawk’s Nest, which overlooks the Milwaukee River.
Because he chooses not to own a car, Ken can be seen commuting to work by bike, unicycle, or on occasion, kayak.