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Aaron Zeleske

Aaron Zeleske

Aaron is the Arboretum Project Coordinator at the Urban Ecology Center where he works to keep all the parts of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum project moving. His journey to try to understand the world has taken him from Wisconsin to the east coast, the Marshall Islands, Chicago, and back to Wisconsin. Two little known facts about Aaron are that he is both a twin and a potter. He enjoys bicycling, gardening, reading, and cooking delicious meals to share.

The gift of $400,000 pledged by Rotarians in 2008 to create the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum was the catalyst that brought together an impressive array of partner organizations needed to bring the project to fruition. The diverse mix and unique expertise of the partners is a testament to the broad appeal of the project, which has energized people and groups across all sectors of the community.

One of the largest single sources of financial support for the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum is a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

We often say that in developing the Rotary Centennial Arboretum we are “converting old industrial land along the revitalized Milwaukee River into a natural jewel for the city.”  But what does it take to do that?

Monday, 12 November 2012 09:01

Arboretum Spotlight: Action Teams

Two action teams are complementing the work of the partner organizations on the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum –one team focuses on design elements of the Arboretum and other comes together to ensure completion of the fundraising.

As the weather cleared in the past several weeks, work on the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum resumed in full swing. The contractor has just about finished grading the site and covering it with rich topsoil—soon to be followed by seeding with a mix of native plants and the installation of erosion control mats made of coconut fibers.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:05

Arboretum Spotlight: A System of Trails

One vital component of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum is the development of trails that are sustainable and universally accessible. This past summer, Milwaukee County repaved some of the historic trails in Riverside Park originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893. When the Arboretum is complete there will be a network of universally accessible trails near the Urban Ecology Center that will, for the first time, allow those in a wheelchair to independently navigate the park and even the river bank! Emanating from these paved paths in either direction are gravel paths that an ambitious wheelchair user can explore.

In May 2012, the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum project applied for a grant of $1.2 million from the Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.  Administered by the Department of Natural Resources, the Knowles-Nelson program makes funding available for conservation of wildlife habitat and access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

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