Center for Resilient Cities (Milwaukee, WI)


  • Name:Dr. Marcia Caton Campbell
  • Title:Executive Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Center for Resilient Cities
  • Address:1243 N. 10th St., Suite 200
    Milwaukee, WI 53205
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:414.289.7799
  • Main fax:608.255.6793

Organization Web

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • The Center for Resilient Cities builds robust and thriving urban communities that are healthy, just, economically viable and environmentally sound. We envision a world of resilient cities filled with clean water, clear air, green landscapes, sustainable and just food systems, and healthy people in economically thriving neighborhoods.

    Our process starts by asking neighbors about the values, needs and priorities of the community. Then we lend our expertise and develop partnerships to address both current and future challenges within the neighborhood.Our work pulls together many "systems" of a neighborhood: how we build community, how we feed ourselves, how we educate our children, how we produce energy and manage natural resources, how we create jobs, how we design buildings and reclaim our neighborhood spaces. We believe we must address these issues together to create well-rounded and stronger neighborhoods.

  • Overview:
  • Incorporated in 1996 as the Urban Open Space Foundation, the Center for Resilient Cities (CRC) was founded as an urban land trust. From our early focus on land preservation, the organization has expanded to a proactive project, program and policy-based approach of strengthening urban areas, while retaining its land trust status. We engage our work from both the community-based and systems perspectives, grounded in an understanding of the social determinants of health. We currently have a staff of 9: 3 program/project staff in Madison, 3 program/project staff in Milwaukee, 2 organization-wide support staff based in Milwaukee, and an executive director who spends time in both offices. We are also the administrative home to 2 project staff with our in-house partner, School Food FOCUS, a program of Public Health Solutions, a New York City-based public health institute. Our board of directors numbers 11, with 7 board members in Madison and 4 in Milwaukee.

    Our place-based project work is focused in urban neighborhoods experiencing a variety of social, economic, and environmental stressors; we work in collaborative partnership at the invitation of neighborhood and community-based organizations to articulate and implement their vision for healthy, sustainable communities. In Milwaukee, our work has concentrated on the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood, which is a low- to moderate-income, historic African-American neighborhood. However, we have connections citywide. Our work has been supported by the numerous local foundations, including The Brico Fund LLC, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation, the Journal Foundation’s Thomas and Yvonne McCollow Fund, the Kopmeier Family Fund. Regionally and nationally, we have been supported by the WI Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Program and the USDA Urban and Community Forestry Program.

    CRC currently provides advice and technical assistance to the City of Milwaukee’s for its sustainability planning process. Dubbed “Refresh Milwaukee,” this process was initiated in February 2012. Our Executive Director is a mayoral appointee to the Milwaukee Green Team, a 15-member ad hoc committee guiding the sustainability planning process. Extensive public outreach conducted during the summer of 2013 identified healthy food access and local food production as two of the top priorities for the sustainability plan. As a result, the plan will have an entire chapter devoted to a healthy, sustainable food system. Plan completion is expected by the end of June 2013, with adoption by the Common Council sometime in Fall 2013, and implementation beginning as soon as practically possible.

    CRC is also the “backbone organization” and convenor for the Milwaukee Food Council (MFC), which was founded in 2007 and has an active membership of over 50 individuals from the private nonprofit, for-profit, and public sectors in Milwaukee. Working under a collective impact model for systems change, the MFC is a forum and connector for people interested in making our regional food system ecologically sustainable, environmentally vibrant, and socially just.The MFC meets bimonthly.

    In April 2012, CRC became home to School Food FOCUS's (SFF) Regional Learning Lab (RLL). SFF is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts (over 40,000 students) to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. In 2011, FOCUS became a program of Public Health Solutions, the nation’s largest public health institute, regarded as having one of the most innovative, comprehensive nonprofit portfolios of public health initiatives in the country.The 3-year RLL venture leverages the knowledge and procurement power of 7 school districts in the Upper Midwest region engage school districts to redirect purchasing practices to access more wholesome food, building communities of practice that connect school food service professionals and their partners with technical support and a broad spectrum of food supply chain actors in order to shift the procurement of specific foods. Currently, SFF has contracts with the following foundations: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kresge, Surdna, J.R. Albert, Pew Charitable Trusts, Robert Wood Johnson, The California Endowment and Lowenstein.

  • History:
  • 1996-1999: Established as the Urban Open Space Foundation, an urban land trust, in Madison, WI. Helped restore Yahara River Parkway and other downtown acres in the greater Madison region, successfully advocated for land use policy reform and for a public financing referendum for open space acquisition in Dane County. At the invitation of the Northside Planning Council, joined Troy Gardens Coalition.

    2000-2001: Expanded programs to protect urban forests, enhance water resources and acquire critical neighborhood lands. Assisted Wisconsin communities in improving their parks and natural areas. Formed the Community Open Space Partnership, a constituency of 40 agencies that developed a regional Great Lakes summit on community open space.

    2002-2004: Finalized the Green Infrastructure Plan for open space reinvestment in Wisconsin and advanced the state’s legislative agenda for green infrastructure. Undertook a large-scale restoration at Troy Gardens, a 31-acre urban farm, community garden and green-built, mixed-income housing development, in partnership with Community Ground Works at Troy Gardens and the Madison Area Community Land Trust.

    2005: Selected projects in Milwaukee to demonstrate green retrofitting in the central city, including Johnsons Park, Alice’s Garden and Brown Street Academy.

    2006: Developed a green infrastructure plan for Milwaukee’s Fond du Lac and North Avenue neighborhood. In Madison, pursued land acquisitions and remediation for Central Park.

    2007-2008: Adopted a new name, Center for Resilient Cities, and continued to demonstrate how people can create healthy, resilient cities through the Johnsons Park Initiative, Central Park project, and the US Forest Service Initiative. Completed “Resilient Urban Forests” report for the USDA Forest Service.

    2009: Broke ground on Johnsons Park Initiative by removing land berms in Johnsons Park that limited visibility, creating safety concerns. Launched Resilience Research Center project in Madison.

    2010: Renovated Alice’s Garden and created a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom™ at Brown Street Academy, a public school in Milwaukee’s central city. Resilience Research Center approved by Madison Common Council. Gifted Central Park land to City of Madison. Became "backbone organization" and convenor of the Milwaukee Food Council.

    2011: Received Mayor’s Design Award and a best public space award from the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation for Alice’s Garden, a 2-acre urban farm. Revitalized north schoolyard at Brown Street Academy. Became “backbone” organization for Milwaukee Food Council, founded in 2007 to create a healthy, sustainable food system. Broke ground on the Resilience Research Center.

    2012: Completed Phase 1 of Resilience Research Center, including areas for the Resilience Neighborhood Center and community partners, Badger Rock Middle School and Growing Power-Madison. Finished schoolyard greening project at Brown Street Academy, transforming 4 acres of asphalt into a vibrant oasis of outdoor education and play. Helped gather public input on Milwaukee’s sustainability plan and participated on city’s Green Team advisory committee. Became home to School Food FOCUS’s Regional Learning Lab, a program of Public Health Solutions (the nation’s largest public health institute), which leverages the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts (over 40,000 students) to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced.

    2013: Updating Phase 2 design of the Resilience Research Center based on stakeholder input. Building relationships with academic partners: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Edgewood College and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Refining Johnsons Park design; Milwaukee County to build new park pavilion in summer. Aiding in development of statewide food council. Helping to complete and implement Milwaukee’s sustainability plan. Finalist for best public space award from the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation for Brown Street Academy schoolyard greening project.

  • Year established:1996
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:11
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:11


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:39-1854762

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:391854762
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Organization Address:501 E BADGER RD
  • Organization City:MADISON
  • Organization State:WI
  • Organization Zip:53713-2120
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:October, 1996
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):994, 350
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code, Preservation of natural resources (conservation)
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:C30
  • Asset Amount:$6,037,460
  • Asset Code:7 ($5,000,000 - $9,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$1,003,898
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$1,003,898
  • Last Updated:2/21/2018 8:49:54 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.