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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Winter is on its way, and I'm preparing by unearthing the wool socks and long johns buried in the back of my closet, and by covering my windows with plastic (one of my least favorite chores). All this preparation makes me think of my little plant friends, who are also busy preparing for winter in their own way. How can a living thing freeze solid for months, then thaw out the next spring and continue on its merry way? And how can we humans help prepare our plants for their big sleep? Read on to learn how plants get ready for winter, and how we’ve successfully overwintered plants in our nursery here at the Center for the past 8 years!
Written by Guest Blogger
Friday, 03 October 2014
Autumn is upon us, but that doesn't mean you have to stop borrowing summer equipment from the Urban Ecology Center. Members of the Urban Ecology Center have unlimited access to a variety of tools and games to help keep you active all year round. Take advantage of the beautiful weather while it's still here!
Written by Lainet Garcia-Rivera
Friday, 26 September 2014
When the word "bat" comes out in a conversation the first thing that many people think is about mosquitoes. We wonder how to get more bats in our backyards to have fewer mosquitoes. This is one of the roles bats play in nature, pest controllers. Bats find all kinds of insects to be tasty, like moths, grasshoppers, flies, and beetles to name a few. This not only makes our lives more comfortable, but in agriculture it can save lots of money that would be spent on pesticides.
Written by Guest Blogger
Sunday, 21 September 2014
Long-time Urban Ecology Center member Andy Connors is a born storyteller. Growing up within the Anishinaabe community along the Bad River in northern Wisconsin, Andy developed a strong sense of Native American identity through his ability to engage and connect with others through storytelling. To celebrate the upcoming Wisconsin Bat Festival, Andy tells a riveting traditional Native American story of how the bat got his wings.
Written by Michaela Lewellyn Humpal
Friday, 19 September 2014
On a line of rope tied between two trees in Washington Park, six brown paper bags jumped in the wind. Two-year-old Lilli Morby stood with her father, Josh, and watched with wonder as a member of the Urban Ecology Center’s Citizen Science team took down one of the bags, put in a hand and pulled out a calmed songbird. The researcher weighed and banded the bird, identified its gender and a new family memory was made.
Written by Mike Ziegler
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
While going on a camping trip can become second nature after a few times out, the first encounter with all those tent poles, vacant fire pit, and the expectant eyes of your children can be a bit daunting. Well, be daunted no more! The Urban Ecology Center is offering our Family Camping Trip - an overnight camping trip at the beautiful Blue Heron Wild Life Sanctuary in Saukville, less than an hour north of the city. Come with questions, leave with confidence in your own camping skills, and have a fantastically memorable time with your family in between!
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Friday, 12 September 2014
My mother gave me a deep appreciation for bats. She grew up in Texas, where any bat enthusiast knows, some of the world's most unbelievable bat hibernacula exist. She and her brother had a pet bat named Radar who they found as an orphan. They raised him (as I like to picture in a little matchbox, with tiny bat swaddling) until he grew stronger and older. Unfortunately Radar had an untimely run-in with a neighbor who was positive the bat had rabies. While my mother's memories of Radar faded, her fondness of him never did, and I have my mom to thank for sharing her love of an animal, that in the late-50's was completely uncool to love.
Written by Sam Huenink
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a NATURE RANGER! Do you know a child, 5 years or older, who would like to be part of our new Nature Ranger after school program at the Urban Ecology Center?
Written by Kara Baldwin
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
Last year, while brainstorming ideas for summer camps, I suggested a photography camp for middle school aged campers. This summer was the first year, to my knowledge, that we offered a photography camp, and I was lucky enough to lead it.
Written by Anne Reis
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
I recently read Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel, Flight Behavior, which is a fictional story about the disruption of eastern U.S. monarch migration patterns in response to the changing climate. As always, Kingsolver writes exquisitely about the raw beauty of the natural world. The story centers around a fictional occurrence of thousands of adult monarchs overwintering on a mountain in Tennessee, lighting the mountain on metaphorical fire. Kingsolver's female protagonist, despite having little formal science education, has the necessary curiosity to make insightful observations and pose thoughtful questions about this unexpected phenomenon. The novel elucidates the importance of understanding the scientific process and how the media portrays scientific findings. The book persuaded me to learn more about the charismatic monarch butterfly.
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