Wisconsin: Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment (A Former EPA CARE Project)
The summary given below provides a description and documentation of a Milwaukee, Wisconsin project that received a Level I cooperative agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) project in 2008, and a Level II CARE cooperative agreement in 2011. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.
The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.
The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment is a recipient of the Level I CARE cooperative agreement. The Institute for Urban Health Partnerships, a center of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing, will be the lead administrator of this project. The community of focus will be Westlawn, the largest low-income, public housing development in Wisconsin. Located in the Milwaukee area, Westlawn faces a wide range of environmental risks: poor air quality, chemical releases, lead exposure hazards, and poor water quality. The CARE project will convene the Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment to join community stakeholders to form a broad-based partnership dedicated to reducing toxics. This stakeholder group will assess the toxics problems in the community and will consider options for reducing risks.
Prospective CARE Partners: Environmental Sustainability, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, University of Milwaukee Wisconsin, Silver Spring Community Nursing Center, Havenwoods State Forest, Havenwood Economic Development Corporation, Westlawn Residents Council, Redemption Lutheran Church, Milwaukee Public Schools, and the Milwaukee Health Department.
The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment project is the recipient of a Level II CARE cooperative agreement, building on a 2008 successful level I project. The Institute for Urban Health Partnerships (IUHP), a center of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) College of Nursing will be the organization leading this project. IUHP oversaw the successful implementation of and ongoing community support for the Level I CARE project known as the Westlawn Partnership. The target community for this project is the Westlawn Public Housing neighborhood in Milwaukee County, WI. Westlawn is the largest, low-income, public housing development in Wisconsin. The community includes Westlawn, and the surrounding neighborhood within the 53218 zip code. Community concerns identified by the Westlawn partnership during the level I process and which will be addressed through this level II funding include: a) indoor air pollution; b) mold exposure; c) access to safe and healthy food; d) pesticide exposure; e) outdoor air pollution; f) plastics and BPA exposure; g) pharmaceutical waste (exposure through drinking water); h) lead exposure, and; i) electronic waste. This Action Plan, developed by the Westlawn partnership during the level I funding period, will be implemented using a multimedia, holistic approach to reduce environmental risks in the community. Strong emphasis will be placed on environmental health, focusing on education and behavior change specific to children, families, and childcare providers. Level II CARE funding will focus on these concerns by targeting three overarching goals: a) Long-term sustainability of the Westlawn Partnership; b) Healthy Homes, and; c) Healthy Day Cares. These goals will be accomplished through the continuation of monthly partnership meetings, with members continuing to take leadership roles for specific pieces of the action plan.
Established CARE Partners: Westlawn Resident Council, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, University of Milwaukee, City of Milwaukee Health Department, Fight Asthma Milwaukee (FAM) Allies, State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukees Asian Markets Phongsavan, Growing Power, Inc., and 'Jammin' 98.3.