Michael Fields Staff Day Out
November 9, 2012
Early June set the stage for a Michael Fields Staff Day Out to the “Big City”. The purpose of this full-day event was to introduce many of our new personnel to our sustainability cousins in Milwaukee: Growing Power and the Urban Ecology Center. As most everyone knows, Growing Power’s goal is to grow community and transform our local food systems by providing “high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community” and training folks through outreach and workshops. Our guide, Andre, led us through the maze of Growing Power’s many greenhouses and aquaponics houses, which provide the fertile medium for vegetables and micro-greens, fresh-water fish and worms. We also learned about their anaerobic digester, which manages waste and produces energy, and their rainwater catchment system, and saw their many bee hives, goats, and chickens. After a quick and delicious lunch at the Mexican Food Restaurant Cempazuchi on Brady Street, we hurried over to catch our tour at the Urban Ecology Center. The history of the UEC is an interesting one. Tired of the garbage and decay in their neighborhood, Riverside Park community members came together to create a nature and science center that would simply get people outside to reclaim one of their community’s most precious assets: their river and woods. More recently, renovations included the construction of several indoor classrooms, which provide hands-on opportunities to learn about the surrounding environment. Much of our staff ended our day by heading over to Lakefront Brewery for their “green tour”, which illustrates how Lakefront has become more energy efficient over the years and discusses their use of local Wisconsin hops. What a great way to end the day: with a Lakefront IPA! We wish to thank and acknowledge all of these organizations for their work and support of their communities.