Volunteers made an impact in 2013 at Walnut Way

Written by MCJStaff   // February 26, 2014   // 0 Comments

4-H Club volunteer Ashley Lee takes a break from festivities at the Healthy Neighborhood Celebration.
Your efforts made an impact…

An eventful year made possible by our volunteers.

2013 was a year of advancement for Walnut Way, as well as unexpected hardships. Our aim was to get one step closer to breaking ground at the Innovations and Wellness Commons on North Avenue. We experienced a fire at the Walnut Way Center and transitioned into a new temporary office on Fond du Lac Avenue while we restore the Center and make way for the Commons.

We are grateful for all of the ways you engaged with us in 2013. We want to say thank you to each and everyone of you for all of your efforts. Here’s a glance at 2013and some of the many accomplishments achieved through volunteering. We hope to see you again this year in 2014! Don’t miss the bottom of this email for upcoming events in 2014.

A Year of Abundance!
Dedicated staff, volunteers and organizations advanced our efforts to preserve our crop this year! Christina Ward led several canning volunteer nights and devoted her personal time to canning our pears and peaches. Volunteers got their hands hot with peppers and made products for sale like peppered peach jam. The Urban Ecology Center donated space since our kitchen was inaccessible due to the recent fire at the center. The Bartolotta family and Bacchus Restaurant also used our pear harvest to create a delicious dessert, donating sales to Walnut Way.

Longtime Walnut Way volunteer Dennis Riley continued to help us in the gardens this year. In the past he has donated his plants and time planting a fence of raspberries giving us a fruitful harvest this year.

We were blessed with many acts of kindness, Steve Peterman architect kindly redesigned our Center for neighborhood accessibility. Bill Krugler developed the Milwaukee Community Business Collaborative (MCBC) providing training, employment and local business development. Thank you everyone!

Volunteers Bring Youth Programming to Life
Walnut Way 4-H Club volunteer, La’Vada Gardner joined us as a youth leader in 2012. La’Vada is a full-time student with two jobs, but still finds time to volunteer each month supporting 4-H Club activities. La’Vada also stewards our Little Free Library located on 17th and Lloyd Street by ensuring it is filled with books. Thanks La’Vada!

Volunteer with Youth Arts Background Joins Art at the Heart Program
Abraham Amagezi, pictured in the above picture on the left, joined the Art at the Heart Program this year as a volunteer. Art at the Heart was a year-round intensive art program for youth at the Walnut Way center. Abraham organized his own youth arts program in Uganda and brought his unique skill set to Walnut Way, lending a hand to designing lesson projects and teaching art. Thank you Abraham and to everyone that helped out this year in our youth programming.

Edible Milwaukee Writer Volunteers Time Teaching Photography
Professional photographer and writer for Edible MilwaukeeJoe Laedtke, volunteered his time teaching a photography session to youth in 2013. Students learned about a career in photography and took pictures in the gardens using professional cameras.

Kompost Kids Engages Walnut Way Youth in Environmental Stewardship
Kompost Kids’ Melissa Tashjian and staff welcomed Walnut Way youth again this year to learn about reducing their impact on the environment though composting. Thanks Melissa!

Lindsay Heights Youth Council Raised Funds to Rebuild the Walnut Way Center
Sandra Malone and the Boys and Girls Club, Lindsay Heights Youth Council, joined efforts to raise funds and awareness about Walnut Way’s recent fire. These young leaders rallied together and raised $500 and donated the funds to the restoration of the Walnut Way Center. Walnut Way will be working with the Lindsay Heights Youth Council this year on a service project with Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association. Stay tuned for amazing projects led by the LHYC. Thank you Sandra and the LHYC for your efforts!
Vacant Lots Cleared for Urban Agriculture Production at the Annual Neighborhood Lift Up Day

  • A vacant lot was cleared of debris and garbage. This lot will be used to expand our Urban Agriculture production and make way for more beekeeping facilities, a greenhouse, and a youth learning garden!
  • Volunteer neighbors led groups of volunteer teams to clean up streets
  • 2 large dumpsters were filled with trash collected by volunteers
  • Over 14 organizations including local schools, groups, college students, and mens groups, came to volunteer
  • 75 individuals came to lend a hand with the clean up
  • The Walnut Way 4-H Club participated in art activities and took Polaroid pictures and digital images of the event
  • Anthropologie Clothing Store led a hands-on seed bomb youth activity

Save the date for the 2014 Neighborhood Lift scheduled for April 26th!

One Week After Fire, Harvest Day Goes On
One week after the fire at Walnut Way, we continued forward with our annual Harvest Day Festival. Over 100 volunteers from the neighborhood, partnering universities and organizations helped ensure its success — some traveling from as far away as Whitewater University!  Collectively, our volunteers:

  • Welcomed over 300 participants in attendance!
  • Harvested over 50 pounds of produce and sold it at our market table
  • Cardinal Stritch service learners created and taught 8 environmental education and arts activities to over 100 youth
  • Sold tickets to our 50/50 cash raffle
  • Led a youth parade down 17th Street

Save the date for our next Harvest Day scheduled for September 13th, 2014!

First Friday Group Volunteer Days
First Fridays was started in 2013 as a chance for corporations and groups to get to know Walnut Way through volunteering in the gardens and in housing. We had the chance to work with a long list of groups this year including WHEDA and Teach for America. First Fridays occur each month during our growing season. Schools and organizations joined us in the gardens throughout the season assisting us with weeding, planting, and selling produce. We also received much needed housing and volunteer support from Connie Pukaite and John Bach. Thank you! 
Save the Date for 2014
Annual Events
Lift Up

April 26th, 2014
Report to the Community
May 19th, 2014
Healthy Neighborhood Celebration
July 9th, 2014
Harvest Day
September 13th, 2014
Monthly Events
Neighbor Night
March 12th
Topic: Public Safety
Location: Walnut Way Admin Offices
1836 W. Fond du Lac Ave.

Spring into safety in March! Join neighbors as we discuss public safety strategies and develop a plan for public safety in Lindsay Heights. Click to RSVP or emailinfo@walnutway.org.
About Neighbor Nights
We hope you can join us on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at our community gatherings,Neighbor Nights. Topics include housing 101, yoga, public safety, and fruit trees. Visit the Walnut Way website calendar for up to date event listings and locations.
How Can I Volunteer at Walnut Way?
Let us know you want to volunteer by completing an online application for individuals and groups located here:
For specific questions and details send an email toinfo@walnutway.org.
Ways You Can Make A Difference
Donate to our campaign
Become a Neighbor
Buy fresh produce & honey
Share the good news



Bacchus Restaurant

Innovations and Wellness Commons

The Bartolotta family

The Urban Ecology Center

Walnut Way

Walnut Way 4-H Club

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