We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends

Written by Marissa Lundin
    Monday, 24 November 2014
We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends

It's no secret, we couldn't get by without a little help from our friends. The friends I'm referring to are quite special, they are our volunteers! From helping out our Environmental Education classes, to restoring native habitats with our land stewardship team, to answering phones at all three of our branches, we rely on the dedication and enthusiasm our volunteers bring to the Urban Ecology Center.

To show how grateful we are for our volunteers' hard work, our staff comes together once a year to celebrate the accomplishments of our Centers and acknowledge the contributions our volunteers have made with a Volunteer Appreciation Party. And oh, what a party it was this year!

This year, volunteers were able to participate in something new at the Volunteer Appreciation Party. Upon their arrival, we had various staff-led activities available for volunteers to join. Some found themselves learning to swing dance, while others were led on a chilly, yet invigorating naturalist hike in Riverside Park. Other volunteers braved the cold night with s'mores at a bonfire, or stayed inside with environmentally-inspired games. Lastly, volunteers had the opportunity to sit and chat with our Executive Director, Ken Leinbach. As more volunteers arrived, dinner, desserts and mingling allowed volunteers to meet staff and one another.

The evening continued with an Annual Meeting and the highly anticipated staff-led entertainment! To say 'thank you' to our volunteers in as many ways possible, we made and presented a video for our hard working friends. Please find and enjoy this video below. Our staff had a lot of fun making it, and we hope our volunteers had just as much fun watching. The 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Party was just a taste of the gratitude and admiration we hold for our volunteers, and believe us, it lasts all year long!

Between our three centers combined, we worked alongside 3,979 volunteers this year. That means a total of 21, 674 volunteer hours were contributed to the Urban Ecology Center and the communities we serve. This year we saw volunteers help transform Three Bridges Park into a healthy, vibrant landscape. We witnessed volunteers fostering our students in the Young Scientists Club. Volunteers lended their hands and voices by participating in community outreach opportunities. Our mission is achieved through these activities and many more. This is where we will say one more 'thank you' to our volunteers, we really couldn't get by without you!

We'd like to give a HUGE thanks to all our volunteers who have helped us expand our reach into the community and ensure our programs and daily operations run smoothly! Interested in getting in on the fun? Then go checkout our volunteer page and learn how you can help!


Marissa Lundin

Marissa Lundin

Marissa Lundin comes from the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she spent her life with the Nicolet National Forest as a back yard. Upon moving to Milwaukee to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Community Education and Engagement, she discovered a passion for volunteering at the Urban Ecology Center. For several years, Marissa participated with the Center in arts and crafts projects, land stewardship activities, and working at the receptionist desk. These experiences allowed her to work as a Volunteer and Visitor Services Intern in the summer of 2014, and has since been an interim employee at the Center, filling in for Meghan who's out on maternity leave. You can currently find Marissa at Riverside Park connecting volunteers to various opportunities at the branch. When not working with volunteers, Marissa enjoys spending time with her family up north, cooking with friends, riding her bike and dabbling on the ukulele.

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