Arboretum Spotlight: Action Teams

Written by Aaron Zeleske
    Monday, 12 November 2012
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.


The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum will open on September 28th, 2013. Each month, Aaron Zeleske, Arboretum Project Coordinator, provides an update to tell a piece of the Arboretum story.  These updates can also be found on the Rotary Club of Milwaukee website.

These committees, made up of a mix of Rotary members and community volunteers working with Urban Ecology Center staff, meet bi-weekly.  They first came together over a year ago, as a way to broaden collaboration and leverage talents and expertise. 

The Design action team spearheads a number of components of the Arboretum project.  Rotarians who volunteered to serve on this committee are Danni Gendelman, Keith Anderson and Penny Cruse. Members of the committee are engaged in working on crafting magical spots within the Arboretum, places receiving a little extra attention to make them more attractive for imaginative nature-based play and exploration.  For example:

  • Three learning circles will also be created as areas designed for the Urban Ecology Center’s environmental educators to use with classes. 
  • A volunteer from Green Man Tree and Landscape Services in Oak Creek will be providing the Arboretum with beautiful benches with a natural feel. 
  • A smaller group of volunteers has been working on ideas to beautify the stretch of North Avenue between the Milwaukee River and the Oak Leaf Trail.  The options of planting trees are limited in this area because of the high concentration of buried utility and overhead power lines.  This team has been formulating a concept for tying this connection into the Arboretum –and the concept is quickly coming together.

The Fundraising committee has been hard at work raising the dollars to make the ambitious vision of the Arboretum a reality, augmenting the Urban Ecology Center’s development department.  Members of the group have assisted with identifying prospects, formulating strategies, arranging and hosting tours and drafting proposals for submission to a number of foundations.  Because of the hard work of this group, we are closing in on our fundraising goal.

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.


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