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Volunteer Groups in Action: Kohl's Cares

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Wednesday, 07 August 2013
Volunteer Groups in Action: Kohl's Cares

Our executive director Ken Leinbach often says “many hands make light work.” This was certainly the case over the course of this past April. With the help of 400 Kohl’s associates who participated in the Kohl’s National Go Green Event we were able to accomplish more work in one month than we could have even imagined.

2013 National Go Green Event

This was not our first terrific experience with Kohl’s volunteers. For the past few years, Kohl’s has partnered with the Urban Ecology Center in the spring for its National Go Green Event. During this event, Kohl’s sends its associates to nonprofit organizations throughout the country to work on projects that relate to “going green.” This year we were selected as a partner organization again along with five other Milwaukee nonprofits. As a partner organization we received the help of hundreds of eager associates willing to get down and dirty to support our mission as well as over $60,000 in grants supporting the work of the Center.

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The Kohl's Cares volunteers at Riverside Park. Photo by Lori C. Belli.

Many Hard Working Hands…

This was a tough, hard working crew, and we are grateful for their help. The Kohl’s volunteers showed their true stripes as they worked diligently and without complaint through a particularly chilly and rainy April. Despite the fact that most of their volunteer work involved being outside, they bravely refused to let rain hold them back and only rescheduled one project throughout the whole wet month (and it was upon our insistence!). 400 Kohl’s associates, a total of 800 hands.

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Helping out with planting at Washington Park.

…Make Light Work

This year, we were fortunate to have Kohl’s Go Green projects at all three of our locations - Riverside Park, Washington Park and Menomonee Valley. Kohl’s volunteers helped with everything from pulling invasive plants and replacing them with native species in the parks, to building fences around our community gardens, to helping at our Earth Day Festivals.

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The Kohl's volunteers at Washington Park.

Check out the impact they made at our Washington Park branch alone as an example of the awesome work they accomplished. Each Kohl’s associate volunteered for a 3-hour session. During that time they helped us:

  • Cut down and clean up a 1/3 acre Prairie
  • Pull out 130 invasive buckthorn bushes and shrubs
  • Plant, mulch and water 70 native shrubs and bushes
  • Put protective mesh cages around all newly planted trees and shrubs to protect them from the threat of lawn mowers
  • Reorganize the invasive species compost area
  • Lead Earth Day activities that allowed visitors to geocache, paint new animal room stools, pick up trash and enjoy food from our community grill out
  • Help our Community Science Team identify the animal and plant species in Washington Park

There were similarly impressive results at our Riverside park and Menomonee Valley branches too! We are grateful for what we were able to accomplish through their dedication and “light work.”

Interested in volunteering with a group? Click here to learn how!

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