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March 20, 2013

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1 previous review
May 6, 2010

I've watched, and been a part of the Center's growth -- from a Friends of the Park group, to providing environmental education field trips to classes from neighborhood schools, to offering a broad sci... more

March 20, 2013

I've been a volunteer with the Urban Ecology Center for the last 15 years, during which it has grown from occupying a double-wide trailer in Riverside Park to now serving over 50 schools with ecology/science educational programs from centers in three different areas of Milwaukee, with over 70 full and part-time employees, and a wide array of programming for children, families and adults. Meanwhile, important but previously neglected or abandoned open spaces are being restored, planted, and turned into active community resources. Crime is down, schools are more successful, and neighborhoods are stronger and more alive. What's not to like?

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 6, 2010

I've watched, and been a part of the Center's growth -- from a Friends of the Park group, to providing environmental education field trips to classes from neighborhood schools, to offering a broad science/environmental education curriculum out of a double-wide trailer, to becoming a full-fledged nature center/urban environmental education center/community center in a wonderfully green, comfortable, and inviting 20,000 sq ft building, and to serving schools and neighborhoods in another area of Milwaukee from a branch Center in another large park. The Center's collaborations and partnerships with other organizations -- community groups, environmental organizations, educational institutions, artists and performers, gardeners and urban farmers, etc -- are among its great strengths. I've been a volunteer and board member of many nonprofit organizations, and UEC has been unique in being virtually free from ego struggles, turf battles, personal agendas, and the like. Even when hard work, or complex and difficult tasks need to be accomplished, volunteering at UEC has always been fun and satisfying. And, best of all, interesting, caring and friendly people are always part of the equation there!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

rescuing first Riverside Park from crime and neglect, and returning it to a community asset, and now beginning a similar transformation of Washington Park with UEC's second Center.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to work with really talented, dedicated, younger staff on everything from community festivals to the planning, funding, design, construction, and management of the Center's Riverside Park facility.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

varied in age, education, race, and background, but uniformly friendly, dedicated, and fun to be with. In short, unlike almost everywhere else in life, folks are happy, comfortable, kind, and upbeat at UEC.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve more students and neighborhoods in Milwaukee with its programs, and could more quickly spread its model of urban environmental education/community centers to other cities, beyond the half dozen cities consulting with it so far.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

December 1, 2012

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December 1, 2012

The Urban Ecology has transformed a neighborhood and a natural area in the heart of the city and made it a safe and accessible place. I feel safe hiking and biking alone in an area I would never have considered venturing alone 20 years ago. I love to visit the UEC with my children to play, sled, snowshoe, hike, visit the animal room or just hang out. I also enjoy going there alone to concentrate on projects away from home and to fly my kite from the lookout tower. It is a good place to recharge! The UEC staff are warm and caring folks and can really engage children and adults alike in the wonders of nature and in the ways of living lightly on the planet.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 19, 2012

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Review from Guidestar
April 19, 2012

I have been involved with the UEC for almost a year now, and I think the work they are doing to revitalize the communities surrounding their 2 (soon to be 3) locations is outstanding. And I feel like I would be hard pressed to find a more passionate and welcoming staff. I like that they offer so many ways to be involved in the work they do, education, citizen science, land stewardship, urban sustainability, community building, etc. There is a place for everyone at the UEC!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the growth of several Young Scientist Club members at Washington Park, as well as several High School Outdoor Leaders at Riverside Park.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I think volunteering at the UEC has helped me connect to my local community, as well as people and organizations interested in what I'm interested in.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt like I was a valued part of the team of staff and volunteers that help make what the UEC does possible.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

The Urban Ecology Center is located in a Milwaukee Park, Riverside Park.
This park was not being kept up and was not used by many people.
The UEC changed that. The park is now a vibrant place.
Many children who have never had the opportunity to investigate the
outdoors are thrilled
to come to UEC.

These kids learn about trees,plants,birds,insects,wildlife and how to
care for all these. They love it! The Urban Ecology Center is a good
thing for the neighborhhood too. I know, because I grew up here, and this was MY park.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing Riverside Park come back to life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

just be thankful for all the smart, talented people who have made this organization possible.

February 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 14, 2011

The Urban Ecology Center (UEC) is a most efficient educator of Milwaukee's youth. Educating youth on the environment may be the the UEC's stated major mission. However, I believe that the UEC is even more valuable in helping youth of all socio-economic backgrounds develop reasoning skills, develop values necessary for maintaining society, and gain the ability to work with others. The UEC facilitates value exchange between generations.
In an age of working parents and shrinking school budgets, I believe that the UEC is the place to invest in our future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the excitement of the children when learning about our world. I see this hands on education shaping the values of our youth.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the emphasis on working with youth.

May 20, 2010

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May 20, 2010

They are an amazing group of energized people who have excellent knowledge and are really helping to revitalize once loved parks that have fallen by the wayside. I loved learning about and foraging for food in the woods. I have also eaten a good many great potlucks there.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my new knowledge of the outdoors and my ability to access and enjoy them.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 6, 2010

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May 6, 2010

Twenty years ago I lived near Riverside Park and I was among the few who ventured into it. The park was poorly maintained and considered dangerous. I have watched the Urban Ecology Center grow and the Park become inviting and popular. I have worked with UEC staff when writing my book about the need for natural areas in cities to help connect people with nature and develop an environmental ethic. They do a remarkable job and I consider the UEC one of the best things happening in Milwaukee, a model for environmental education that should be emulated in every city.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Due to their stewardship, the condition of Riverside Park has evolved from dangerous to inviting, shunned to popular.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their ability to connect children with the natural environment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, knowledgeable, committed, helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Build more satellite centers and reach more of the city's children.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to be involved with it.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Fundraising.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 6, 2010

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May 6, 2010

The UEC brings together so many different elements for me it is difficult to describe its impact on the Greater Milwaukee community. Truly a neighborhood based organization that has primary mission of bringing inner city kids to nature, the UEC is a model for cities everywhere that want citizens to get out and appreciate the out of doors. Sustainability and enjoyment of the world around us in an urban setting has blossomed into a huge, multi-faceted set of programs serving all parts of the community from bird watching to snowshoe

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

dealing with inner city kids who are truly turned on by nature - in their own neighborhood! The Teen Adventure Challenge got these kids into canoes on the river, biking along Milwaukee's historic oak leaf trail and really having fun in the outdoors.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

wandering through the snow-covered park on a candlelit path and reading poetry to others with my daughter.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

positive, cheerful, well-informed (many expert in their fields - plant biologists, naturalists, animal experts, etc) and willing to work to make the offerings better. A great group of people across the board.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

grow and replicate the model across other urban centers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 21, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 21, 2010

The Urban Ecology Center is a fantastic Organization that has a huge impact on the Milwaukee environment and community. The Center's focus on environmental education for students is sure to have a tremendous affect on Milwaukee's environmental future. Urban students who would otherwise never get a chance to learn about the beauty of nature receive an invaluable experience and it is evident that they will never forget their visit to the Center. The Riverside Park location is truly a gem that everyone in the community must see!

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

polite and most welcoming.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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