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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Katie Schober
Thursday, 02 March 2017
In mid-January, during those grand days of winter when we actually had snow on the ground, I learned the value of taking chances through the determination of an 8th grade girl. It was a chilly day, but I had discovered the previous week that students cannot wait to be outside, even on the coldest of days. One student caught my attention as we walked out to the bus. She told me that it was her first trip to the Urban Ecology Center, her first winter in Wisconsin, and how excited she was for her first opportunity to explore snow. Little did she know, her class was about to go cross-country skiing.
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Wednesday, 01 March 2017
Coming from the perspective of a human (a true biological juggernaut of adaptability), the past couple of weeks have been a real joy. For a few glorious days, I wore a tank top outside at work (in February!) and today I’m walking in a winter wonderland again. While the particular weather pattern we’ve just experienced here in Milwaukee has been a treat for us humans, for the plants around us, trees and shrubs especially, it will prove to be more of a trial.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Wednesday, 01 March 2017
For those of you who may not know, we have an organization-wide phenology competition every year to document the first of year (FoY) Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Chipmunk, Mourning Cloak, and Butler's Gartersnake. The documentation of these four species typically signifies the arrival of spring and the dismissal of winter. This year's unseasonal warm weather, however, has a resulted in an uncomfortably early kickoff.
Written by Beth Heller
Wednesday, 01 March 2017
An ornithologist and ecologist are hiking along the Milwaukee River. No, this is not a start to a bad joke – it is a story about how we think. As they turn a corner, the ornithologist gasps as she sees a tree alive with the movement of over 20 birds! Stopping, she focuses her binoculars and directs her attention to the characteristics that will help her identify them. It is challenging and fun. She is having a great time and decides she needs to walk here more often and plans to tell all of her friends about this wonderful place to look for birds!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
In 2016, over 9,000 people attended events hosted by renters at our three branches. From weddings to meetings, we offer 14 eco-friendly spaces and many amenities that are perfect for small to fairly large groups. More importantly, by holding an event at the Urban Ecology Center, you are helping a child to get out into nature. You are helping an adult canoe for the first time and a teen teach kids how to grow a garden.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Monday, 27 February 2017
Below is the story of how Ken wrote Urban Ecology: a Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities, and the World. Click here for a short synopsis of the book. The way I wrote a book was not traditional, but I doubt that is much of a surprise to most. Wait, did you catch that? I just wrote a book! It's called Urban Ecology: a Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities, and the World. This adventure started two years ago when Peter and Jean Storer offered us support for the purpose of writing a book. Without any request  from us, they felt that the Urban Ecology Center story needed to be told. What followed was a little bit of…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 February 2017
Below is a short synopsis of the book. Click here if you'd like to learn the story behind it. We are excited to share that the Urban Ecology Center's new book is now available! It's called Urban Ecology: a Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities, and the World and the author is our Executive Director, Ken Leinbach.  The book shares the story of the beginning of the Urban Ecology Center and our growth into three vibrant Milwaukee branches. It includes our lessons learned along the way such as how to find abundance in our community, the power of prototypes, and how to raise money.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 30 January 2017
Winterfest was again a success! Even without snow! During this annual free family festival hosted in Washington Park, the community enjoyed arts, crafts, guided nature walks, and even sled dogs from Door County Sled Dogs. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our sponsor, Joy Global.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 26 January 2017
The bitter cold of Milwaukee winters makes it difficult for many to stay active and have any interest in leaving the house to enjoy the outdoors. Since I joined the Outdoor Leader program at the Urban Ecology Center this summer, I've come to understand that this place can make it possible to have fun outdoors in any weather. I have never considered myself to be a 'winter person,' often opting to stay cuddled up in a blanket on the couch once the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Thursday, 12 January 2017
As we usher in 2017, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of change. It seems like it’s something all of us want, in some way or another. We may have different ideas about what kind of change, but I get the sense that most folks would agree with the statement that “The way the world is right now is not ok. We need a change.” This desire for change has created a lot of conversations about what within the status quo we need to fight against. For me, it’s a long list: climate change, injustice, disparity, oppression, just to name a few. I am exhausted by just talking about what it takes to fight all these huge societal…
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