Inclusive Community Engagement and "Cradle to Career" Strategies for Urban Forest Management

        Inclusive Community Engagement and "Cradle to Career" Strategies for Urban Forest Management

          Article summary

          In the United States, the conservation movement's problematic historical relationship with racism, settler colonialism, and land use discrimination has led to distrust and apprehension towards environmental management and leadership. With its history of redlining and environmental racism, Louisville is no different. Providing job and management opportunities to historically marginalized people can provide economic opportunities and help heal the disconnect between healthy natural areas and healthy people. The City of Louisville has employed several long-term strategies to attract people in historically marginalized communities to job opportunities in Louisville's natural areas. However, those strategies have only been moderately successful to date. The City of Louisville continues to work with non-profit groups, economic development organizations, and youth job programs to develop strategies to fill employment gaps and provide leadership opportunities in urban forest management.

          In a nutshell, this resource offers:

          • A case study of efforts to address systemic racism in natural area access in Louisville. 
          • Analysis of the drivers of inequitable access. 
          • Ways to improve the inclusivity of community engagement and outdoor programming. 

          How to use this resource:

          • Strategies for more inclusive community engagement and outdoor programming. 
          • As a model for a "cradle to career" program to engage people at every age and build an inclusive environmental workforce.
          • As an example of public-private partnerships to improve the equity of service delivery.

          Author: Randy Strobo, Wilderness Louisville, Inc., Bennett Knox, Formerly of Louisville Parks and Recreation, Natural Areas Division

          Date published: May 2023

          Point of contact: Randy Strobo, Wilderness Louisville, Inc.,

          Citation: Strobo, Randy and Knox, Bennett (2023) "Inclusive Community Engagement and "Cradle to Career" Strategies for Urban Forest Management," Cities and the Environment (CATE): Vol. 13: Iss. 1, Article 30. DOI: 10.15365/cate.2023.130130 

          Resource is available online here.


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