Member Highlight: Catrina Crane

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Thursday, 07 October 2021
Member Highlight: Catrina Crane


“My daughter and I are not outdoor people. UEC is an organization that helped us see things differently.” Catrina Crane laughed as she explained how her relationship with the outdoors has changed during an interview with the UEC discussing her experiences as a member. She began by recalling how she first became involved with the Urban Ecology Center, “I have a daughter who is 18 now, but at the time she was maybe 6, and I chaperoned one of her school trips [to the UEC] and it was really cool to see the kids work on plants and things like that. I was an up and coming Girl Scout leader so I kind of piggybacked off of what I experienced during that trip and brought my troop back to UEC a couple of times. It was a lot of fun! From there I started putting my daughter into some of the summer camps.”

Eventually, Catrina became a member. When asked what her favorite thing about being a member is, Catrina said, “My favorite thing about being a member is how many ways you can connect. It’s definitely one of those ‘one size fits all’ organizations. I’ve been able to do things from being a part of a walking clinic, to the big events at the parks, to borrowing equipment.”

20201130 140735Catrina is always trying to find easy ways to enjoy Milwaukee’s natural spaces. “One of my favorite outdoor activities is walking. I’ve gone to the UEC at Riverside, at Washington Park, and of course the  Menomonee Valley because I work in the valley. I like to pick those places and do a lot of the walking and exploring and actually seeing some of the projects that the kids have worked on. It gives my heart joy to see those things or information booths or watching the kids who are actually out there in a camp enjoying themselves.” In the same sentiment, she added, “[the parks are] a great place to just go and sit. I have enjoyed actually going there as a separate place to work”.

Catrina’s favorite memory during her time as a member was several years back, when she and her daughter borrowed fishing poles and fished at the lake in Washington Park with her mom and dad. On equipment lending, Catrina shared that, “When you are in a low income community or know people in that community, for the amount of money you spend on a membership - which is very minimal - you can use any equipment that you may need, it’s great.” 20200905 172907

As a mother, Catrina was more than happy to talk about her daughter’s favorite memory, too. “Her favorite part, because she’s stated this several times about going back, was taking care of the animals. And my daughter, she’s still afraid of cats and dogs so…” She specifically loved taking care of the turtles at the UEC.

Catrina wished more people of color like herself would get involved. “I want people to see and understand that it’s an organization that's for everyone not only to borrow the equipment or be a part of the activities, but to belong to and create a sense of belonging for our families and others. Not from this standpoint of ‘How do I take care of it?” But how to live every day and how you live in unison with the earth. I wish more people would get involved.”

If you want to be part of the Urban Ecology Center as a member like Catrina, join us today! 

Become a UEC member today! 

Urban Ecology Center

Urban Ecology Center

At the Urban Ecology Center, we connect people in cities to nature and each other. Read more about us here!


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