Sustainable Communities

The Community Outreach program area consists of:


Environmental Education

Our environmental education program brings exciting, hands-on, and informational lessons to children throughout the Ann Arbor Public School system. By engaging students, they learn what they can do to protect the environment, then bring those lessons home and teach it to their families.


We offer a range of classroom programs appropriate for students from preschool through high school, including Wee Recycle, Pollution Prevention and You, Our Material World, and Hungry Planet. The programs are not only fun, but are also aligned with the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) to ensure that they meet teachers’ curriculum needs.


In addition to hands-on classroom programs, The Ecology Center also offers teacher training sessions and curriculum development services; provides electronic and print environmental resources for teachers; and presents monthly tours for families at the Materials Recovery Facility.


To learn more about the Ecology Center’s Environmental Education programs, click here.



LocalMotionGreen is a solutions-based educational program that provides consumer information through a variety of formats, from the online Healthy Living Library to downloadable shoppers’ guides and Healthy Living videos. The Green Living Workshops are fun and engaging community presentations, which help extend or hands-on environmental education programs beyond Washtenaw County.


LocalMotionGreen’s educational materials are based on data and research gathered from noted scientists and health professionals.  This information is presented to diverse groups, including parent organizations, school classes of all ages, medical associations, cancer survivor groups, chronic disability health support groups, garden clubs and environmental organizations.


Our educational materials and programs cover a wide range of topics, such as creating a nontoxic nursery, gardening without pesticides, organic food, green cleaning, and cosmetic safety.


To learn more about LocalMotionGreen’s Green Living Resources and Green Living Workshopsclick here.


Partners for Transit

The Ecology Center established Partners for Transit (P4T) in 2013. P4T is a diverse coalition of local organizations and community groups working for improved and expanded public transportation throughout the county. The coalition provides the tools and technical support to enhance each partner’s distinct relationships within the community in order to strengthen and advance the transit movement.


After many years of advocacy around local transportation issues, the Center worked closely with P4T to support a ballot initiative for a 5-year millage that would provide 44 percent more transit service, increase services to the elderly and disabled, and help spur economic activity. Against the odds of a mid-year election, a new millage tax, and well-funded opponents, the Ecology Center led the More Buses, More Often campaign to educate the community and reach out to diverse partners to support the proposal.


Voters overwhelmingly passed the ballot proposal, marking an important victory for the community and the start of a conversation about the future of public transportation in our area. 


To learn more about Partners for Transit’s mission and work, click here.


Recycle & Zero Waste

Resource management is becoming an increasingly important industry as businesses recognize the importance of optimizing resource use from “cradle to grave” in order to better manage their investments in inventory and raw materials.


Nationally recognized as an established leader in recycling programs, Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) has been instrumental in diverting recyclable waste from landfills and reducing pressure on natural resources.

We believe the recycling industry can lead the way in sustainable resource management through technology, research and innovation.