Smart Growth Leadership

Else Ankel

Else Ankel is from the Cambridge Woods neighborhood in Milwaukee’s upper east side.  She has been a tireless advocate for the preserving the unique environment of the former North Avenue dam impoundment. She has worked with countless individuals and neighborhood leaders to create what is locally known as Milwaukee’s “Central Park.” Her passion for protecting the environment is lifelong, beginning when she was a young girl in Germany.

As a result of the work of Else and her friends, the neighborhoods that surround Milwaukee’s “Central Park” have replaced the former impoundment with a natural setting that adds value to those neighborhoods and their residents.

Else has also worked with others to promote the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park.  While Else is quick to give credit to all of the others who have worked to create and expand the Urban Ecology Center from its humble beginning in a trailer, she embodies the spirit of leadership that is essential to the success of an enthusiastic and effective group of volunteers.

Today the urban Ecology Center reaches thousands with its school programs and many activities that help people understand the connection between cities and the natural world.