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


A $50,000 donation will provide 500 Milwaukee families with one-year memberships.

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 community

This 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 initiative

American 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.

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Media contacts for Milwaukee Brewers and Urban Ecology Center: 
Leslie Stachowiak                             J
eff McAvoy
Milwaukee Brewers                         Urban Ecology Center 
414-902-4488                                 414-626-8530

About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America Insurance. Across these companies the group has more than 13,200 employees nationwide.

About Brewers Community Foundation (BCF)
BCF harnesses the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in the Greater Milwaukee area and throughout Wisconsin. Over the past decade, BCF has provided more than 2,000 grants totaling in excess of $19 million to nonprofit organizations across Wisconsin that support programs focused on its four areas of concentration: health, education, recreation and basic needs. Approximately 200 nonprofit organizations receive funding annually through the Foundation’s initiatives. In addition to the fans’ support of the Foundation, all uniformed players, their families, team executives and front office staff contribute their time and/or financial resources to BCF. Visit to learn about ways you can join the team.

About Urban Ecology Center
The Urban Ecology Center has been delivering its mission of connecting people in cities to nature and each other for three decades in Milwaukee. The UEC provides environmental education programs for children and adults, maintains and enhances nearby green spaces, and conducts wildlife and habitat research projects in these urban environments. The Urban Ecology Center serves tens of thousands, including students from over 60 neighborhood schools, and helps provide a positive, safe place for everyone to learn more about how the world around us works. For more information, visit or call 414-964-8505.