Latino Earth Partnership (LEP) promotes collaboration between educators and Latino communities by engaging youth and families in culturally based ecological restoration. Environmental stewardship is integrated with culturally authentic resources, Spanish language curriculum, and citizen science process skills like data collection, analysis, habitat restoration, and water stewardship. This program fosters awareness, sensitivity, understanding, skills, and participation in resolving environmental challenges.
What is culturally based restoration?
LEP honors the diverse knowledge and experiences of community members. Communities identify their own shared stewardship vision, and Earth Partnership staff then share resources that can help the community achieve their goals.
One culturally based restoration effort widely used by LEP educators throughout Madison and Milwaukee emphasizes the monarch butterfly. Educators draw connections between the monarch’s migration and human immigration stories, allowing learners to draw on their families’ experiences to understand, address, and teach others about the challenges facing this amazing insect. Learning the ecological and cultural significance of the butterfly inspires communities to help protect it. In Mexican culture, for example, the monarchs embody the souls of departed children returning each year to the coniferous forest of eastern Michoacán and western México states from Canada and the United States. Planting monarch-friendly habitat at a school or community center and reporting citizen science data often culminates the inclusive learning process. Students find strength in cultural heritage and are motivated to be environmental stewards.
Catholic Multicultural Center (Madison, WI)
Centro Hispano of Dane County (Madison, WI)
Chicago Botanic Garden
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Cleveland, OH)
Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI)
Lake County Forest Preserves (Libertyville, IL)
Madison Metropolitan School District
McHenry County Conservation District (Woodstock, IL)
Pine Jog Environmental Education Center (Palm Beach, FL)
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center (Milwaukee, WI)
Urban Ecology Center (Milwaukee, WI)
Urban Connections, USDA Forest Service (Milwaukee, WI)
US Fish and Wildlife Service
UW–Madison: Botany Department; Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Program; Curriculum and Instruction Department; Global Health Institute; Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program; Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; WI Department of Public Instruction