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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Beth Heller
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
The Urban Ecology Center is delighted to welcome Terrence (Terry) Evans as the Center’s new Branch Manager for our Washington Park branch. Terry brings with him 19 years of nonprofit experience, nearly a decade of which has been in leadership roles in Milwaukee. Specializing in youth development, job training and community organizing, he looks forward to focusing those talents in the Washington Park neighborhood.
Written by Michael Espinoza
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
"When are the gardens going to be open?!" This is a question that the Menomonee Valley Young Scientists would ask last year over and over again. The roar and grumble of the tractor machinery was heard throughout Three Bridges Park as workers installed 40 raised garden beds and three arbors, airy structures that will support vine plants.
Written by Erick Anderson
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
The season started off slowly, but it finally feels like winter in Washington Park. Between the solstice and the New Year we “enjoyed” above freezing temperatures and a complete lack of snow. But now that there’s a chill in the air and snow on the ground, Washington Park is a neighborhood hotspot for winter fun!
Written by Jeff Veglahn
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Let's be honest, nature is awesome. The splendor and beauty that it holds is more that we can bear: breathtaking sights like the Grand Canyon, or the smallest ant that can lift 5,000 times its weight. There are things that will only be seen on rare occasions (sun dogs – a crazy light phenomenon), and things that will be taken for granted because it's seen day in and day out (the sunrise). We are going to discuss one of those "everyday" wonders: seed dispersal.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Monday, 12 January 2015
I once found a frozen snapping turtle in a river. He lay motionless under a sheet of ice still looking very much alive. His long tail and thick neck were unmistakable through the blurry ice. The image served as a reminder of the difficulty of being a wild animal living in a Wisconsin winter: an unfortunate casualty of harsh sub-degree temperatures, unable to find a nourishing morsel when most needed. A short-time after encountering the turtle, I investigated how turtles survive the winter. I was surprised to read that turtles can live motionless under the ice by going into a type of hibernation. Alas, the turtle I had encountered earlier in the winter hadn't been dead, but had been peacefully…
Written by Tory Bahe
Monday, 12 January 2015
I wanted to know how much the second graders visiting the Center that morning already knew about pollination, so I asked, “Can you name an animal that might want to eat nectar from flowers?” “A bee!” “Yes! Any others?” “Bats?” “Yep, some of them do!” “Butterfly?” “Absolutely!” “Pikachu!” His answer caught me off guard. I’m used to kids spotting sharks and alligators in the lagoon at Washington Park — and even the occasional troll under the bridge — but Pikachu?
Written by Beth Heller
Friday, 09 January 2015
“I want to feel safe, a sense of comfort.” “I want to come to a place where I can just be who I am.” “I want to know that my sisters are safe.” All of these comments came from teens responding to the question “How do you want to feel when you come to the Urban Ecology Center?” During the second half of 2014, we had nearly 80 people attend community forums and listening sessions in Washington Park, almost half of whom were children or teens. The quotes above came from youth who understand how important it is to have a place in their community where they can relax, unwind and just be.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 08 January 2015
By generously offering their time, talent and contributions, our corporate partners are helping us build a strong, vibrant community.  Their significant support through sponsorships, grants, in-kind donations and hands-on volunteering helps us get people of all ages outdoors.  We are immensely grateful for their partnership in this work. See for Yourself! (No really, see how our corporate sponsors contributed to our success last year!)
Written by Judy Krause
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
While some activities outdoors are winding down (at least until there is enough snow to get out on skis or snowshoes), activity has increased on the land situated in the midst of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. If your plans bring you to the Arboretum this winter (it’s a great place for a walk in any season!), you will see a demolition project underway. This work began in December and will extend until March 2015.
Written by Guest Blogger
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
Here at the Urban Ecology Center, we love to celebrate different events, activities and programs offered throughout the year. Back in November, we hosted our first ever Bluegrass Pie Swap, where attendees made and brought two pies: one to share and sample with the group, and one to swap with someone else to take home and enjoy. Not only were we excited about this program, but the attendees seemed to have a blast as well. One attendee, Shan, is a pie-enthusiast who recently wrote a guest blog that reflects on his experience at this program. Shan brought sweet potato pecan pie, which was voted fan favorite at the event! Read on to hear how Shan enjoyed this event due to…
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