Urban Ecology Center - One of 2014 Top Workplaces in Milwaukee

Written by CJ Buhk
    Tuesday, 01 July 2014
Urban Ecology Center - One of 2014 Top Workplaces in Milwaukee

Last month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recognized the Urban Ecology Center as one of Milwaukee's top small workplaces for 2014. Acknowledged for its career opportunities, innovation, and workforce morale, the Center strives to provide the best work environment for employees for maximum community impact. I have enjoyed working at the Center since nearly its beginning. For the past 18 years, the positive energy and accommodating work environment have made it easy and fun to come to work year after year!

The high energy and daily humor are two things I enjoy most about the Center. It's an exciting and innovative place that invites in new people and offers new things. When I first started working here 18 years ago as a volunteer, our office and classroom space were in a double-wide trailer parked in a corner of Riverside Park near the high school, and there were just two other employees. Now, the Center has three different branch locations and over 80 employees. The Center has more staff, more building space, and more opportunities to get involved and programs to promote. I started at the Center because the idea of active, hands-on science learning piqued my interest. I began as a volunteer and mainly worked on marketing and public relations efforts, and the rest is history.

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It's extremely rewarding to watch the organization grow and move forward, as well as seeing the visible impact the Center is having on restoring urban land and educating youth and adults about nature. In addition, it's a solid place for educational opportunities, and nothing beats hearing kids have fun and laugh while exploring nature!

While the Center focuses on expanding community involvement and appreciation of nature, the organization also takes time to engage staff members in the great outdoors. I love the interesting blend of urban and nature that is a core part of our mission. The hands-on education that we offer, even for staff, is amazing.  Over the years, I've become more engaged in bird-banding and have learned a lot about birds and how to identify them. I used to come early to work to watch birds. Now, I installed a bird feeder at home and have taught others about birds.

The Urban Ecology Center received this award as one of the top small workplaces based on employee surveys that asked employees to answer a variety of questions about their manager and job. The surveys measured several company qualities such as leadership, workplace flexibility, and compensation and benefits. In addition, these surveys measured the impact company policies have on the innovation, productivity, and morale of its employees. This award represents the Center as an outstanding Milwaukee-area business that draws top job-seekers. For more information about this award, visit http://www.jsonline.com/business/2014-top-workplaces-in-southeastern-wisconsin-b99268357z1-258949991.html

CJ Buhk

CJ Buhk

In her role as Marketing Communications Coordinator, CJ Buhk encourages others to explore nature in the city. Her most vivid childhood memory is being at an Easter Seals summer camp and seeing the sun set opposite of the moon rise with the Milky Way flowing between them.

A fan of scifi and fantasy, CJ claims to have found "the one ring." We're not sure what that means.


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