On Friday, March 29th, we’re returning with “Water” with Karen Sands, the Director of Planning, Research, and Sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). This event will be hosted at Discovery World!

Karen Sands is the Director of Planning, Research and Sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) where she’s worked for over 15 years. As director, she integrates grey and green infrastructure planning to recycle wastewater, reduce energy use/switch to renewables, and manage river and stormwater flooding. Read more about her career here!

Below we chatted with Karen and got to know her a little more.

What do you usually eat for breakfast? 
Bagels with cream cheese and salmon, eggs and toast, cereal with fruit, smoothies…just not all in one sitting!

What do people know you for?
Being sporty (jogging, swimming, bicycling to work), vegetable gardening, and four leaf clovers finding me.

How is Milwaukee special to you? 
Milwaukee is where Pete and I raised our two daughters! When they were growing up, we spent a lot of time exploring beaches, parks, and soccer fields as well as museums, shopping, and shows. We all benefit in incredible ways from Lake Michigan. I’m a transplant from upstate New York, and the Fresh Coast of Milwaukee is home.

What inspires your creativity? 
My creativity tends to take the form of big ideas. They come to me when I’m riding my bicycle on trails that follow the veins of our rivers.

What will you share with us during your talk? 
I’ll share my early connections with water, how my career transformed from paving the earth to greening the earth, and how that work connects with big goals of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.