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The Power of the Outdoors

Written by Mike Larson
    Wednesday, 30 April 2014
The Power of the Outdoors

We believe in the power of the outdoors. We believe that all work and no play makes us all a little dull and that the antidote for the monotony of routine is to go outside. We believe that paddling, biking, fishing, camping, hiking and/or playing outside are essential elements of a healthy lifestyle. We believe that nature is everywhere- even in the city- and that adventure can literally be found right in your backyard. We believe that fun doesn’t have to be expensive or accessible to only a few lucky people. We believe it so much that we can taste it as fresh as the spring air.  We can’t wait to get out of the office, home or car to stretch our legs. Are you with us? Then do we have a deal for you!

When you support the mission of the Urban Ecology Center by becoming a contributing member, we support your thirst for adventure and the outdoors through our Equipment Lending benefit. Our membership prices are low and we offer scholarships to support every individual and family, but if you believe in what we do, we invite you to contribute more. As a member, you have access to all of our outdoor adventure equipment, including canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping equipment, fishing poles, lawn sports, garden tools and more… for free. For up to three days each time you borrow. No, that wasn’t a joke.

So how does it work? It’s simple!

1. Become a member.

2. Go to any of our three Urban Ecology Center branch locations.

3. Tell one of our nice reception volunteers or charming staff members that you would like to go outside. With equipment. Soon.

4. Fill out a brief form, give us your driver’s license and credit card information (we’ll store it securely), pay your fully refundable $5 security deposit, and smile… you’re almost there.

5. Pick out the exact equipment you want to borrow and have fun.

6. Bring it back on the third day.

7. Post pictures of your adventure and tell your friends about it.

8. Repeat.

Here are some tips for success:

Call ahead! Call and reserve equipment ahead of time. Not available at one of our branches? Try another!

Want to borrow a boat? Each boat must have one adult who has taken our Water Safety Course. For your convenience, we offer this course multiple times a week at each of our three branches. Take it once and you are set to borrow our boats for the rest of your life.

Need help loading that canoe on top of your car? Bring a friend with you!

Check equipment status. Check to make sure you have everything you need and that the equipment is in good working order before you leave the Center.

Ask for advice! Need advice on where to go or how to use the equipment? Check out our website or ask at the desk. We're happy to help!

Mike Larson

Mike Larson

Mike is a happily married man living with his family in Bay View. As a young child he spent days playing along the banks of the Rock River, fostering a love for nature which eventually led him to study biology and pursue a career with the Urban Ecology Center. He enjoys telling people everything he can about the Center through his role as the Visitor Services Manager. He hopes that the work he does can help make it possible for his two sons and other kids in Milwaukee to grow up with similar experiences to those he had as a child.

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