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GI V I NG NAT U R A L LY A CASE FOR SUPPORT


O ur Vision

To

cr e at e

a wor ld w her e ...

Every urban child can explore the natural world every day of every season of every year of his or her life.


O ur Vision

To

cr e at e

a wor ld w her e ...

A mentor can share and guide the child in this adventure, building curiosity and respect for this natural world.


O ur Vision

To

cr e at e

a wor ld w her e ... They and others of all ages can come together in a kind of outdoor laboratory: a neighborhood Urban Ecology Center which educates and inspires people to understand and value nature as motivation for positive change.

In a world like this, it is only natural to give of oneself... giving naturally

HOW DO WE GET THERE?


h er e is t he probl e m ...

It’s a downward spiral

t h e l a n d is h e a l ed a n d so a r e w e ! it wor k s !

Kids blossom with newfound opportunities, cross generational mentors to learn from, new skills and positive camaraderie that cross economic and racial divides

In cities we have vacant, often polluted, underutilized parks or natural areas. Which attract the homeless

Complacency and obesity is replaced by active engagement and purpose

Drugs and alcohol

The natural area becomes a safe community gathering place all year long

Violent crime results

Drugs, alcohol and violent crime radically reduce

Natural area degrades Nearby neighborhood suffers and becomes undesirable Nearby schools in turn struggle to find resources

A neighborhood Urban Ecology Center moves into the degraded park or green space

Seven days a week programming offers kids a positive alternative while displacing homelessness Volunteer service improves the natural area and access The community is engaged in group clean-ups

a u n iqu e solu t ion


1986

history of t he

5 year old murdered in park

1991

u r ba n ecology

Friends of Riverside Park forms

cen t er

Early 1990’s

People throughout the neighborhood came together to reclaim the park from the crime and pollution

1998

First full-time Executive Director hire possible

1892

1910’s - 80’s

Frederick Law Olmstead creates River Park

Riverside Park declines

1906

Riverside Park vibrant and active with swimming, boating, skating and other activities

1999

Name changes to Urban Ecology Center.

2000

Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) launched Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Museum


2012

1993

Menomonee Valley branch to open

Friends group forms Riverside Nature Center

2007

At the request of the community, opened second branch in Washington Park

2008 - 11

Consulting with other cities takes place: Columbus, OH; Syracuse, NY; Baltimore, MD; and more. 79,200 visitors in 2010-11

2004

Incredible community support leads to sustainably-built, 20,000 square foot environmental community center

2003

16,000 annual visitors to trailer

2006

Doubled number of member households, NEEP participation triples, 47,000 people visit the Center


Riverside Park

Washington Park

Site of Future Menomonee Valley Branch

The Urban Ecology Center fosters ecological understanding as inspiration for change, neighborhood by neighborhood.


In

e ach n eighbor hood w e ... PROVIDE

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION for URBAN YOUTH

PRESERVE

LAND WATER

PRACTICE

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

PROTECT URBAN NATURE

PROMOTE

COMMUNITY


Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP)

K e y P rogr a ms

Hands-on outdoor learning experiences for urban students. 24 classes per year for each partnering school within a two-mile radius including transportation.

Summer Day Camps

Eight weeks each summer at two locations led by professional educators, 6 kids to 1 teacher ratio.

High School Outdoor Leaders Internship Program

Summer long and year round internships for teens. Training & work experience while mentoring summer camp participants!

Summer Adult Internship Program

Ten weeks of intensive training and work experience in 5 key professional areas. Adult mentors to our High School Outdoor Leaders.

Young Scientist Club

Afterschool program for kids 5 – 16 years old. Outdoor activities, research, homework support, fun!

Land Restoration and Stewardship

Natural landscape management engaging thousands of volunteers on urban land.

Citizen Science Research

Citizens partnered with scientists to advance scientific understanding using urban “field” stations.

Urban Adventures

Canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, snowshoeing and all the fun stuff for kids and families…right in the city!

Community Programming and more!

Public festivals, eco travel opportunities, food programs, equipment lending, etc.


W ho

we

serv e

As a community center we are free and open to all. We strive to provide opportunities to those least likely to have them.

URBAN YOUTH

Eighty-three percent of our youth population qualifies for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program and the racial breakdown is: 75% African American, 19% Caucasian, 6% Latino. Over 44,000 children visited the Center in 2010 - 11.

SCHOOLS

We work with schools within our neighborhood, defined as any school within two miles of a Center. We currently partner with 44 schools and have a 98% retention rate year to year. 26 are Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and 19 are non-MPS schools.

FAMILIES

We have over 3,000 supporting households which use our services. And, this number is growing year by year.

ADULTS

We hosted 35,000 adult visits in the 2010 -11 fiscal year. This doesn’t take into account the thousands of users of the natural areas each year.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Neighborhood groups can meet at our Centers for free, such as Urban Echo Poets, Transition Milwaukee, Friends of Real Food and Community Living Options Group.

THE NATION

Our model program is being sought after nationwide in places like Columbus, OH, Syracuse, NY, San Diego, CA and a host of other cities, be it our award winning Neighborhood Environmental Education Program, our cutting edge Citizen Science Research program, or our experience with restoration, green building, community development or a host of things we have learned along the way.


W h at

sets

us a pa rt Innovative Programs In addition to being the only organization with environmental community centers in the most densely populated urban area in the state, there are many things which make us unique.

NEEP - Our award-winning

environmental education program gets urban youth outside learning about science and nature year-round.

Citizen Science - You don’t need a PhD to assist in the collection and analysis of scientific data.

Community with a capital C We nurture good ideas from within the community by providing space for interest groups, matching volunteers to their passions and engaging communities at all levels of the organization. Ripple Effects Our work has stimulated numerous initiatives nationwide

The Fun Factor Whether it’s finding the secret “slide-in” entrance to our building, handling our native Wisconsin animals, or discovering the door to the “camouflage room,” fun is built into the lessons and visitor experiences at the Center.

Volunteer Engagement

Walking the Walk

Volunteers are involved in nearly every part of the operations of the Center. They greet you as you enter the building, assist with environmental education, and belay rock climbers. There isn’t a department that doesn’t benefit from the help of volunteers.

Our Environmental Community Centers are free and open most days of the week, including many evenings, to everyone. We share our broad array of equipment through our robust lending program (kayaks, snow shoes, bikes, rototillers, etc. free to our members).


r ippl e effec ts


I mpac ts

Through the work that takes place at our Environmental Community Centers:

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT goes up

CRIME goes down

HEALTH improves

LAND is healed

THE COMMUNITY is inspired and engaged

ECOLOGICAL LITERACY improves

And the neighborhood wins! HOW DO WE KNOW?


E va luat ion Learning

Ecological Literacy

Land is Healed

Crime is Reduced

How we know we are making a difference OUR LOGIC MODEL SURVEYS TELL US THAT:

100

%

of school partners believe that our programs boost academic performance and helps kids to be more comfortable in nature.

kids would not get these hands-on activities without the Center.

Developed through: » Knowledge and academic success » Cross generational mentoring » Emotional connection to nature » Recognizing one’s role in the community » Repeat visits » Desire and ability to take action The Urban Ecology Center is directly responsible for the restoration of 51 acres and has been the catalyst for hundreds of acres of preserved and restored land along the Milwaukee River Corridor, and now along the Menomonee River as well.

down by

90

%

IN RIVERSIDE PARK!

Positive Community Engagement

99% of classroom teachers said that the

Community Groups

Numerous neighborhood associations and community interest groups meet at our facilities.

The park is used nearly 365 days of the year, creating a continuous community presence in the park. These efforts have paid off, and Riverside Park has gone from one of the city’s crime hotspots to a safe haven.

Volunteers

2,000 volunteers log 15,000 hours at the Center each year.

Visitors

77,000 people connect to us and our resources each year.

Exercise + Healthy Food = Healthy Kids

Obesity is Reduced

The Center for Disease Control listed the Urban Ecology Center as one of 20 best practices nationwide as a way to get kids active.


B e yon d M ilwau k e e Cities around the nation and around the globe are catching wind of our unique model and asking us to help them replicate it.

Cities that have expressed interest in our model

Cities that have paid us to consult


Revenue

H ow

2010-2011

it wor k s

operating budget actuals

35%

PRIVATE FOUNDATION GRANTS

Expenses

7%

GOVERNMENT

13%

2010-2011

CORPORATE GRANTS

10%

10%

7%

GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE

FUNDRAISING EVENTS

FUNDRAISING

23%

EARNED INCOME

15%

17% PROGRAM SERVICE FEES 3% MEMBERSHIP FEES 3% OTHER

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS

80% PROGRAM SERVICES

total:

$2,195,255

» The Urban Ecology Center holds no long-term debt. » Current assets exceed current liabilities by a ratio of 7.57.

(as of 8/31/11)

The Urban Ecology Center’s financial statements and financial position are audited annually in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. Scribner Cohen & Company performs an annual audit. The final audited financial statements for 2010-11 are expected by 12-31-11. There were no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies found, and no adjusting entries required, for the period ending 8-31-10.


how to eng age

BECOME A MEMBER

Members enjoy benefits like free use of our recreational equipment, subscription to our newsletter and discounts on Center programs. Not to mention the satisfaction of supporting the Center!

DONATE

We can put any donation to good use: $35 provides a membership for a needy family; $75 provides an educational program for families; $195 provides a summer camp scholarship.

There are many ways to become an important part of the meaningful work of the Urban Ecology Center. Here are just a few rewarding ways to support the Center.

VOLUNTEER

The best way to get to know the work of the Center is to come and experience it for yourself. The gifts of your time and talents are always appreciated. Join the 2,ooo+ people who volunteered in 2010-11!

• Teen Adventure Challenge • Summer Solstice Soiree • Research Lecture Series • Sponsor a Partner School

 PLANNED GIVING  Planned gifts are the best way to leave a legacy of support for the Urban Ecology Center. Contact us to inquire about planned giving options which help us carry out our mission even beyond your lifetime.

SPONSORSHIPS

IN-KIND GIFT

Donations of goods and services help us carry out our mission. If you’re ready to part with items you think we can use, or can provide services that would be valuable to us, please give us a call.


We

heal the land and

t h e l a n d h e a l s us


TM

W W W.U R B A N E CO LO G YC E N T E R .O R G

RIVERSIDE PARK

1500 E. Park Pl. Milwaukee Wi. 53211 P (414) 964 - 8505 F (414) 964-1084 uec@urbanecologycenter.org

Hours: Mon - Thurs 9 am - 7 pm Fri & Sat 9 am - 5 pm Sun Noon - 5 pm

WASHINGTON PARK

1859 N. 40th Street Milwaukee, WI 53208 P (414) 344-5460 F (414) 344-5462 wkaridis@urbanecologycenter.org

MENOMONEE VALLEY Coming Fall 2012!

Hours: Tues - Fri 4 - 7 pm Sat 9 am - 5 pm

Urban Ecology Center - Case for Support  

The case for supporting the Urban Ecology Center