Member Highlight: The Levey Family

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Friday, 03 December 2021
Member Highlight: The Levey Family

“I think we’ll be members forever now.” The Urban Ecology Center had the opportunity to speak with new members, Linda Gorens-Levey and Mike Levey, about their experiences with their UEC membership thus far, and aside from their cheery commitment to being lifelong members, following is some of what they had to share when asked why they decided to sign up.

Mike explained, “We had two great experiences this year.” Mike and Linda’s son, Ben, had been living at home while working remotely since last March, and they were looking for outdoor family activities. Linda had been aware of the UEC for several years and decided to sign the family up for a cross-country skiing class led by UEC staff member Erin Whitney. Mike recalled their first great experience, “We took a group cross-country skiing lesson on a weekend during the winter, and we just had a great time! It was fun to be out during the pandemic and have that opportunity.” It was at this point that Linda decided to sign the family up as UEC members. They had another great experience shortly after this initial class that reinforced this decision.

 A few weeks after skiing, the family had their second positive experience while taking a family snowshoe class with UEC staff member Madeline Karian. Mike said, “The three of us went snowshoeing on a Sunday with Maddie, a beautiful day on the river by Riverside Park.” Linda echoed her husband’s sentiments saying, “We had a wonderful day! It was sunny and it was just a beautiful setting. We were out for a couple of hours snowshoeing alongside the river and it was magnificent!”

The snowshoe class came in handy shortly thereafter. Linda explained, “We took a driving trip to the Western side of the state and we borrowed equipment at the UEC before heading out. We snowshoed at Wyalusing State Park and it really helped to have this snowshoe class before going on a steep hike.” Mike agreed, “Yes, and we felt very comfortable traversing the steep terrain on our hike.  The nice thing for us -- while we owned snowshoes, we only had two pairs -- so we had the ability to borrow the equipment very easily.” 


The pictures are from a trip where the Levey family borrowed the poles and snowshoes from the UEC and went hiking at Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, Iowa, and snowshoeing in Wyalusing State Park in Bagley, Wisconsin (both on the Mississippi River).

When asked what they’re most looking forward to in the future with their memberships, Linda readily answered, “We’re going to go kayaking! We’re going to take lessons.” to which Mike enthusiastically replied, “Oh, awesome! I didn’t know that!”

We also asked Mike and Linda if they would recommend becoming UEC members to their friends, and Linda said, “Yes! We’d buy it as a gift for someone, too!” Mike nodded his head saying, “A UEC membership would be a great gift -- It's great for individuals, it’s great for families.”

Linda wrapped up the interview by saying, “[A membership] benefits us, but it benefits the community and the mission of the Urban Ecology Center -- it supports environmental education, land stewardship, community benefit and programming -- and I think those are really important aspects of supporting UEC regardless of our usage.”

You can learn more about becoming a UEC member here:

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