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URBAN ECOLOGY CENTER INC
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?

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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

MY ROLE:
Volunteer

URBAN ECOLOGY CENTER INC
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

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & i've been a volunteer at the Center's season community festivals for many years, introduced visitors to the Center's activities, given tours of the Center's green building, assisted with the Center's annual Teen Adventure Challenge, and have negotiated th.