Thank You, Caitlin!

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Thursday, 15 June 2023
Thank You, Caitlin!

It is with deep gratitude, that we bid farewell to our Forester Caitlin Reinartz. Caitlin's creative and approachable teaching style and leadership will be deeply missed by our staff, volunteers, and community members. Her unwavering passion and positive energy have been a constant source of inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of working with her.

Caitlin's journey with the Urban Ecology Center began over 14 years ago when she joined as a Summer Intern. She soon after became our Bookkeeper. Although she cherished her time at UEC, she recognized that her true calling lay in the great outdoors.

Ever since her middle school days, Caitlin has held a profound appreciation for nature and has explored its wonders, from her own backyard to the vast expanse of the Boundary Waters. Pursuing her passion, she went on to study Forest Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

When Caitlin finished school, she returned to UEC as our Forester. Her main duties were restoring Riverside Park and creating the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, both of which hold a special place in Caitlin's heart. These trees have become an integral part of her personal journey, and she wholeheartedly encouraged others to become part of that story as well. In fact, she once shared a moving quote during a spoken word performance at our Summer Solstice Soirée:

"Consider the mighty white oak, Quercus alba, which actually isn't any mightier than you or me, just bigger and older and quieter. When the roots of one oak travel through the ground and meet the roots of another, they embrace and intertwine, vessels form between one tree and the other so that the blood of tree A travels through the veins of tree B and vice versa.

Through this link, they share food and antibodies, the stronger holding the weaker up, knowing that next year the tables might be turned.

Science shows that the average Quercus alba in Wisconsin is connected underground to 16 others which are connected to 16 others. Which are connected to 16 others.

So that what started as a forest of disparate parts is now one tree with many stems.

Growing, thriving, failing, or succeeding together. Growing, thriving, failing, or succeeding as one.

Our oak isn't trying to be nice.

Rather, it has learned from hundreds of thousands of years on our planet that togetherness is the only way forward. Oaks have taught me that there is no I and there is no you.

But only we and us.


Caitlin, we extend our deepest gratitude for infusing the Urban Ecology Center with your vibrant spirit. Your invaluable contributions will leave a lasting impact for generations to come, and your legacy will continue to thrive for hundreds of years. While your absence will be felt, we wish you the very best in your future endeavors, knowing that wherever you go, you will continue to inspire others with your love for nature and dedication to its preservation.


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