Our Loss is Milwaukee's Gain

Written by Beth Heller
    Sunday, 25 February 2018
Our Loss is Milwaukee's Gain

We have a lot to be proud of here in our city. Milwaukee is at the forefront of US and global urban environmental initiatives, positioning itself as a world class eco-city. The city signed on to the international environmental principals of the Paris Accord. The United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All recognized Milwaukee for its innovative approaches through public-private partnerships that speed up implementation of efficient buildings. We’re the only city in the US contributing to this global effort.

Along with Milwaukee’s growing initiatives this year came a big change for the Urban Ecology Center.

After eleven years at the UEC, most recently as Riverside Park branch Branch Manager, Jamie Ferschinger left us to step into a new role with the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO). Building on her experience as the public face of our east-side location, Jamie is now Milwaukee’s “Public Face of Energy Efficiency”, according to Erick Shambarger, Director of ECO.

The ECO office offers resources for community organizing, such as the “Eco-neighborhood Tool Kit,” currently being coordinated by former UEC high school outdoor leader and intern, Darrin Madison (how cool is that?).

Its “HOME GR/OWN” initiative transforms vacant lots to gardens and orchards. As Shambarger notes, “collaboration is our middle name.” So, whether it is designing a more efficient commercial building, improving energy use in your home, improving the ecology of your neighborhood, the City of Milwaukee is likely to be able to connect you to resources to help you take action.

We couldn’t be more proud to see Jamie take this new step. At her send-off party, the theme of conversation was “Milwaukee is so lucky!” Her work with the city will not only improve the quality of life for our community members in the near term, but will help provide a healthy place for future generations to live. As Shambarger notes, “Jamie has a great reputation for getting things done in the community.” We couldn’t agree more. And while Jamie is no longer a UEC employee, her influence continues on in our own sustainability efforts. Thank you, Jamie!

Want to learn more about what environmental initiatives Milwaukee is taking on? Visit the ECO office website.

Beth Heller

Beth Heller

Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning, Beth received her Masters in Business Administration from UW-Milwaukee in 2005, where she received the Outstanding Business Plan award for a plan to launch a branch of the Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park. She graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI in 1994 with a B.A. degree in Biology and Education. Beth began working at the Urban Ecology Center in 2000 to combine her love of the city with her appreciation of nature. Beth loves to sail, bike, sing and hike.

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