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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Tim Vargo
Friday, 17 November 2017
Mother Nature and Father Time. We’ve known they were our family for at least 3,000 years when they first entered into Ancient Greek lore. I prefer to call them our parents and leave out the gender, but let’s focus on their relationship. It’s prudent to consider time in our daily lives – learn from the past, live in the present, prepare for the future. Nature excels at all three of these things.
Written by Beth Heller
Thursday, 16 November 2017
“See you at the top, Aunt Beth!” shouted my niece, Kate who was 12 at the time. We were at Lapham Peak facing what is affectionately called “Asthma Hill”. My niece and her friend had mastered the art of skiing uphill leaving me lagging behind, catching my breath. They paused and asked me to lead only once, at the “Roller Coaster” section of the trail: a steep, undulating, fast and slightly icy technical stretch. I must say, I was delighted to be able to give a few pointers, even if it was just once that day.
Written by Matt Flower
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
There’s a certain allure to farming that resonates with almost everyone. It’s very hard work, but your daily connection to the land is powerful. As an environmental educator at the Urban Ecology Center I consider myself a farmer of connections. From birth, children are developing their connection with the wider world and the many experiences in nature make up the threads that are woven throughout our entire lives.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Tuesday, 07 November 2017
We talk a lot about the impact of the work you help us do, as we should, because it’s impressive. Together we’re improving academic performance in our students. Community pride abounds. Crime is diminished. Land is healed. Jobs are created and a whole lot of learning happens. Kids, who would be inside watching a screen are outside in nature laughing, learning, and playing. I am incredibly thankful for all we have done together, and while I can talk all day of our accomplishments, this article is a little different.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Tuesday, 07 November 2017
Several times a week, I get to hear new ideas — from members, visitors or Young Scientists. Each person who participates at the Urban Ecology Center has experiences, knowledge and ideas to share, and one of my favorite parts of my job is getting the chance to hear the ideas from our community. As you can imagine, some of my favorite events at the Center are our Community Forums—meetings that are open to the public, whose intent is to give our whole community the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas, and for our staff to have the chance to connect with community members and listen to these opinions and ideas.
Written by Danny Pirtle
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
 “Think globally, act locally.” Although she didn’t come up with this slogan herself, Carol Brill tries to live her life by this guiding motto. By getting involved with local organizations in her community, Carol recognizes that her work and actions will make a far-reaching impact. This principle is what steered her to becoming a volunteer at the Urban Ecology Center where she can now be found operating the Riverside Park reception desk every Friday afternoon.
Written by Meghan Jones
Monday, 23 October 2017
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." - Elizabeth Andrew We have amazing volunteers at the Urban Ecology Center. It’s a simple statement, but it’s so true!
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Friday, 20 October 2017
It’s officially autumn! Time for pumpkins and sweaters and soaking up every moment of sunshine before winter hits. Fall is such a wonderful time of year. The entire forest turns into a spectacle of color and light — a showy and powerful promise from Mother Nature that if we huddle through these few cold months, she’ll be back and better than ever. Walking through the woods in fall, with a crisp silent breeze and only the sound of feet through dry leaves, one might think that the forest seems to be settling down for a big nap. From the perspective of a tree, though, fall is an incredibly busy season.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
On an early morning bird walk last year, we smelled our find before we saw her. The smell of necrosis mixed with day-old vomit lingered on the light breeze. We scoured the nearby terrain trying to find the mysterious decaying matter hidden amongst the leaf litter only to remain perplexed. And then we saw her. Perched on a tree branch, just 10 feet from our heads, sat the pungent perpetrator.
Written by Michaela Molter
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Has the weather lately left you feeling parched yet sweaty? Us too, but we can hardly stay inside knowing Autumn’s flower and foliage color display is on its way. While the weather remains unseasonably warm and minimal if any rain is in sight, many of our Wisconsin native plant species can take the heat as well as the drought conditions.
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