The Urban Ecology Center was established to provide outdoor education to our city’s youth and most of our energy and resources are directed toward this important work. Through education and our own demonstration of environmental stewardship, we are able to advocate and act for our environment, but from time to time we must do more. The following recent examples illustrate the ways the Center has taken action to do just that.
As a founding member of the Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition, the Center joins with other groups committed to protecting and preserving the 800 acre Milwaukee River Greenway. This land along the Milwaukee River from North Avenue to Silver Spring is a rare natural area that, until recently, was unprotected from development that could have destroyed the natural quality of this community resource. As a result of the work by the coalition, this area is now protected by zoning to ensure the area will remain a natural oasis in the city for Milwaukee’s citizens.
In 2007 the Urban Ecology Center entered the Rotary Club of Milwaukee competition with a vision for a project to enhance Riverside Park’s natural area by expanding and diversifying plant community to create the Rotary Club’s Centennial Arboretum. This project outlined thousands of native trees, bushes, and plants being planted in an expanded Riverside Park totaling 40 acres. With these plantings the native flora will be present in numbers that will reintroduce a reproductively viable population to the 800 acre Milwaukee River valley. The Center was honored when the Rotary Club selected this project as the winner!