Green is the Way at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

Cruising green doesn’t necessarily mean just the things you do on the water. The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC) is one of the leading sailing organizations that understands this. The MCSC helps at-risk, disadvantaged and disabled youth and adults in the Milwaukee community interact positively with the environment and experience Lake Michigan through sailing. In recent years, the sailing center has taken an active role in bettering the local urban environment through green practices, in addition to making Lake Michigan accessible to all Milwaukee-area community members through its eco-friendly recreation classes and programs.

In 2009, the MCSC built a new facility and became one of the first organizations in Milwaukee to use a geothermal system. The sailing center also uses passive solar technology for heating, high efficiency light fixtures, and spray-foam insulation to prevent the loss of most heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. In addition, the MCSC has energy recovery ventilation, an air-to-air heat exchanger that minimizes energy loss. The organization’s volunteers have also created a rain garden to reduce runoff, soil erosion and pollution in the community. According to the EPA, urban runoff is the sixth leading source of impairment in rivers and ninth in lakes.

“We’ve always been focused on helping the community experience the joys of Lake Michigan through sailing, now we’re just making sure our business practices help preserve the environment that makes our organization possible,” said Peter Rieck, executive director of the MCSC.

What is your sailing community doing both on and off the water to help the environment? Tell us in the comments section below, or send us a note at

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