Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Mike Larson
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Winter is coming…and we can’t wait! Why spend 5 months of what feels like Wisconsin’s longest season* stuck indoors? The skis have been waxed, snowshoes checked, and sleds pulled out of storage. Winter Equipment Lending at the Urban Ecology Center is here!
Written by Cassie Mordini
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
"I guess I'll just have to suck it up," she chuckled, trying to be a good sport. "Well, I know George would love it, and so would my daughter and son-in-law who are visiting from out of town," she explained to me.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Monday, 08 December 2014
Imagine a fierce predatory bird that deftly picks off mammals and smaller birds. She spends hours of her day in the cold Canadian taiga, battling food scarcity and searching for sustenance. Once her unsuspecting prey is spotted, she swoops mid-air, stunning the prey with a sharp blow to the head and impales it swiftly on a piece of barbed wire. She may do this several times a day, caching her food in preparation for hard times to come. Such a clever and dominant bird, never letting her diminutive size stop her. For even a songbird the size of a robin can prove a formidable warrior.
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Monday, 01 December 2014
It was a crisp September morning, the end of the first growing season for the Milwaukee Rotary Arboretum. I was with a group of volunteers, keeping the weeds at bay. Hunched over and intent on my work, I would have missed it if a large shadow hadn't passed over the ground in front of me. I looked up and saw the last thing I ever thought I would see in the heart of Milwaukee – a bald eagle!
Written by Ken Leinbach
Monday, 01 December 2014
"I got it! I got it!" he shouted, beaming with pride. He had just found the last stick to the fort he was building with his classmates. They were on a field trip at the Urban Ecology Center. He was maybe six years old, fully engaged and feeling on top of the world. I'd guess being in the woods and fort-building was something entirely new for many of them.
Written by Marissa Lundin
Monday, 24 November 2014
It's no secret, we couldn't get by without a little help from our friends. The friends I'm referring to are quite special, they are our volunteers! From helping out our Environmental Education classes, to restoring native habitats with our land stewardship team, to answering phones at all three of our branches, we rely on the dedication and enthusiasm our volunteers bring to the Urban Ecology Center. To show how grateful we are for our volunteers' hard work, our staff comes together once a year to celebrate the accomplishments of our Centers and acknowledge the contributions our volunteers have made with a Volunteer Appreciation Party. And oh, what a party it was this year!
Written by Jeff Veglahn
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
In John T. Curtis' book "The Vegetation of Wisconsin," he identifies five major plant communities (southern forests, northern forests, grasslands, savanna and shrub communities, and lesser communities), each with sub-categories. We are going to look at one of the lesser communities (named this not because of lesser ecological value, but more because it occupied less of an acreage compared to forests, grasslands, and savannas) known as a sedge meadow.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Monday, 17 November 2014
Hi, it’s me, Ken! I’m thinking about what to give to the special people in my life during this giving season. Should I give them an Urban Ecology Center gift membership? A Center t-shirt? Or maybe a day outdoors in the snow? Hmm, perhaps I should ask around. "What does the fox say?"
Written by Chad Thomack
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
This story is one of gratitude, one I hope all our volunteers will have the chance to read.  I share this story with you today because I feel so thankful for all that our volunteers do for the Center.  If you are a volunteer, please feel free to share it with other volunteers!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 10 November 2014
Get notified about spontaneous winter adventures! Sign up for our “Snow and Go" group! Knowing when Wisconsin’s snow will fall is difficult to determine, but having fun in that snow is not! When snow conditions are too perfect to stay indoors, you will receive an email notifying you of a spontaneous winter recreation program — sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, making snow angels — whatever the snow calls for!
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