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A Story of Becoming a #UECmember!

Written by Jay Burseth
    Wednesday, 30 July 2014
A Story of Becoming a #UECmember!

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Jozlynne Zbichorski (pronounced Spee-or-ski), learned about the Urban Ecology Center several years ago. Both of her parents are public school teachers at Milwaukee Public Schools (Jozlynne is also going to UW-Milwaukee for a teaching certification) and she had lived next to Riverside Park for several years. However, she had never considered becoming a member of the Center until this summer when she and her boyfriend tried to plan a kayak trip down the Milwaukee River.

"The Decision Basically Made Itself"

After researching places that have day-long kayak rentals, Jozlynne discovered the Urban Ecology Center's Equipment Lending benefit, which gives members free access to adventure equipment – for both summer and winter activities. After comparing the price of a Family Membership and realizing that it's the same price of renting a kayak for a day with a rental company, Jozlynne and her boyfriend quickly became Contributing Members by completing the online Contributing Membership form.

"The decision basically made itself," says Jozlynne. Adding that they "loved the idea that our money was going somewhere that is very meaningful to our community." The decision for them to get a Family Membership was obvious. Not only were they getting access to different types of equipment all year round for a lower price, they were also contributing to the mission of the Urban Ecology Center of fostering ecological understanding and preservation!

#UECmember "Enhances My Experience as a Member"

Throughout the month of July (and beyond!), the Urban Ecology Center members have been encouraged to use the hashtag, #UECmember, in order to connect all the posts of what members love about the Center.

Like many of us, Jozlynne is frequently updating her Facebook, Instagram, and other social media site with interesting photos and quirky updates about her life. So when she went kayaking down the Milwaukee River, she updated her Instagram and Facebook pages with photos of her adventure. After a friend of hers (who's "an avid hashtagger") commented on a photo posted on Instagram with the hashtag #UECmember, she began using it whenever taking part in a program at the Center or while using loaned out equipment. As Jozlynne put it, "I'm pretty active on social media, so I'm always down to include a good hashtag."

She explained that following the #UECmember hashtag "definitely enhances my experience as a member" as it can be "inspiring to see other members' photos because I can think of what I want to do next." Additionally, Jozlynne says that because of using the #UECmember hashtag, a lot of her friends have seemed really interested in joining the Urban Ecology Center after seeing her photos on social media. "Hopefully it will inspire them to join," she adds.

"I've only been a member for a couple of weeks, but I've already kayaked and climbed the rock wall. I'm excited to do more with the Urban Ecology Center in the future, and to go out on our second kayak adventure next week!"

However, Jozlynne warns, if you become a Contributing Member, you might also get embarrassed for being "shown up by a bunch of kids" on the rock wall.  But it's still "awesome at the same time."

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Jay Burseth

Jay Burseth

Jay Burseth is a Development Coordinator in the Development & Marketing Department. He has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science & History and a Master's degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In his free time, he enjoys biking, reading (nonfiction only), watching films, volunteering for political campaigns, and walking around the east side with his wife and Newfoundland dog.

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