What We Do

Equipment Lending

Borrow our equipment this season!Join the Urban Ecology Center and borrow our equipment for free!

Instead of buying or renting outdoor recreational equipment, why not borrow it from us? As part of your contributing membership benefit package, we loan out our canoes, kayaks, bikes, camping equipment, lawn sports, snowshoes, cross-country skis, skates, sleds and gardening tools for FREE. This Equipment Lending benefit is exclusively available to contributing members of the Urban Ecology Center. You're not a member of the Urban Ecology Center? Then join today!

Why do you lend your equipment?

We offer this unique and exceptional benefit to our members for three main reasons:

We want to get you outside!
We love helping people have positive outdoor experiences and want to make it easy for you.

We hear the landfills are just filled with old snowshoes and gardening tools.
As a way to limit consumption, we provide our equipment lending program to encourage the use of shared resources in our community.

We don't have sugar.
Remember when you had to borrow a cup of sugar (or milk, or doughnuts) from your neighbor? Well, just substitute "kayak" for "cup of sugar." We're really just trying to be a good neighbor. A neighbor who shares lots of stuff.

What can I borrow?

Click below for a complete list of equipment available to borrow at each of our three branches.

Stand Up Paddle boards

We’ve teamed up with Nomad Boardsports and Panga Bar and Grill to add stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) to our lending benefit! UEC members can borrow one of four exclusive SUPs at Nomad in Summit, Wisconsin (just a half hour drive from Milwaukee!) for free. Invite some friends and explore the Upper or Lower Nemahbin Lake. For more information or to reserve a SUP visit Check out this blog post to learn more.

For more information, tips, and resources about specific types of equipment, please select one of the options on the list to the right.

How does it work?

  1. Become a member.
  2. Reserve your equipment in advance by calling us at 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. Pay via credit card a refundable $20 security deposit.
  5. Pick out the equipment you reserved and have fun!
  6. Bring the equipment back, in the same condition in which you borrowed it, on the third day at least half an hour before we close.
  7. Post pictures of your adventure and tell your friends about it.
  8. Repeat.

When can I borrow equipment?

You can come in to borrow or return equipment during our public hours at each of our three branch locations. Please make sure to come in at least a half an hour before we close to give us enough time to process the loan. Sometimes equipment is unavailable becasue it's being used by members or other programs, so please call ahead!

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 Watercraft Lending Orientation. 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!

How much equipment can I borrow with my membership?

Well, it depends on the type of membership you have. Check out this handy chart to see what students, individuals and family members can borrow.

Reserve your equipment in advance by calling us at any of our three Urban Ecology Center branch locations

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Birdwalks (Menomonee Valley)

Menomonee Valley

Tuesday, January 16th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

More Details...

ROOT - Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Tuesday, January 16th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

More Details...

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