Branch Out Milwaukee
Is a collectively organized campaign to maximize the benefit of Milwaukee's tree canopy by focusing on equity, public health, environmental health, climate resilience, and workforce development.
Climate change, invasive pests like Emerald Ash Borer, and diseases like Dutch Elm Disease, have been reshaping Milwaukee’s environment and decimating Milwaukee’s canopy. The old approach to reforesting and maintaining trees has left Milwaukee’s marginalized and under-served neighborhoods with the least access to trees and resources for tree care, amplifying problems with storm damage, urban flooding, urban heat islands, and poor air quality.
In 2019, organizations throughout Milwaukee worked together to develop the Branch Out Milwaukee Campaign Master Plan, outlining a trio of shared goals. These goals are to:
Grow a Sustainable Canopy for a Healthy Community.
We intend to create approaches and strategies that will support a resilient canopy and benefit communities across Milwaukee for generations to come.
Foster Communication and Collaboration.
To meet our goals and frameworks, we will need to do so together. This program is a tool for creating more genuine connections across our city, fostering collaboration and creating new and stronger networks.
Share Resources, Power, and Benefits.
To move forward we need to focus on engagement and inclusion while valuing collective wisdom. Sharing inputs and outcomes of this process builds on the strengths of diverse partners, and empowers unconventional leaders to maximize benefits of our shared canopy.
To reach these goals and ensure our work makes the greatest impact, our strategies and practices need to be held to a common set of guiding principles. Our diverse coalition has committed to using the following four frameworks:
Our work should benefit all of Milwaukee's residents, and our approaches must ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate and prosper from our efforts.
The solutions we develop today need to have meaningful outcomes for future generations.
Our approaches must consider how they impact community systems by seeking diverse perspectives to maximize social, economic, and environmental benefits.
Our work must be intentional in interpreting and navigating power dynamics, respecting the commons by honoring both people and place, for the past, present, and future.