Connecting Milwaukee families with nature: American Family Insurance and Milwaukee Brewers donate $50,000 to Urban Ecology Center

April 29th, 2021

MILWAUKEE – A $50,000 donation from American Family Insurance and Brewers Community Foundation to partner with the Urban Ecology Center will provide 500 Milwaukee families with one-year memberships at the center’s three neighborhood locations.Caring for the Earth and each other
The goal of the Urban Ecology Center is simple – get people outside and connect them with nature and each other. They accomplish this through hands-on learning projects, recreational activities, and encouraging care and respect for the environment. Treating others with kindness, warmth and dignity and providing a sense of belonging are priorities, along with an atmosphere of fun.

“Having the opportunity provided by American Family Insurance and the Milwaukee Brewers to offer memberships to families within our neighborhood, who may not be as familiar with the Center or needed the extra support to become members, is huge for us,” said Angélica Sánchez, manager of Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley location. “We are particularly excited about reaching out to families that will benefit from our bilingual programming, access to outdoor equipment, and see a whole new world of possibilities right in their backyard.”

The memberships will be distributed across the Center’s three branches through community partnership and outreach. The Center aims to reach those who they may have struggled to reach in the past. They will also place a priority on organizations and people in the neighborhoods where they have branches when possible.

Families receiving memberships will enjoy numerous benefits, such as: exploring the center’s urban green spaces and outdoor learning; an opportunity to borrow recreational equipment at no cost; a variety of free and discounted programming; and more, all designed to connect families with nature and each other.
Commitment to environmental sustainability
“The pandemic has affected community destinations like this one because of social distancing requirements, as well as families facing financial hardships who may not have resources,” said Leana Nakielski, American Family community and social impact director. “In addition to providing families access to a beneficial cultural experience, our joint investment underscores both organizations’ commitment to environmental sustainability, particularly during April when we celebrate Earth Day and bring attention to these issues,” she said.

“We are thrilled to provide families and children with an opportunity to access the unique experiences offered by Urban Ecology Center. Learning more about the environment and hands-on educational experiences are critically important exposure opportunities,” said Cecelia Gore, executive director Brewers Community Foundation. “Our thoughtful partnership with American Family Insurance continues to flourish and positively impact Milwaukee-area families during a time when many need that support more than ever.”

Joint initiatives support Milwaukee families and communityThis is one of several shared initiatives between American Family Insurance and the Milwaukee Brewers to support communities and provide positive social impact in Milwaukee, an important element of their expanded partnership announced in 2019.

American Family investment part of larger initiativeAmerican Family’s donation and partnership with the Urban Ecology Center is part of Free to Dream, a new initiative announced recently that supports investments and partnerships that close equity gaps and drive social impact in communities.
For more on the Urban Ecology Center, its programs and services, visit their website.