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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Guest Blogger
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
During hot months, prairies come alive with phenomenal displays of wildflowers and the prairie restorations of the Rotary Centennial Arboretum at Riverside Park are, right now, in full bloom. There you can find this week’s wildflower: Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus). With flowerheads that look like small, delicate daisies, prairie fleabane is a member of Asteraceae, the asters. Asteraceae is one of the two biggest families of plants in the world along with Orchidaceae, the orchids. Which family is bigger depends on who’s counting what as a species.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 07 July 2016
Every choice we make about the form and function of our buildings is made with the environment in mind. From energy sources to recycled materials, Urban Ecology Center facilities provide real life examples of green building practices and management. Visit us and see all the smart ways you can make your home and business greener.
Written by Martha Sudermann
Tuesday, 05 July 2016
“Good morning pretty lady!” exclaimed a Neighborhood Environmental Education Project student a few weeks ago, as I passed her class walking near the lagoon. I never quite know what to expect, as I head to work each morning. Her inviting smile and her silly demeanor were a welcome surprise. I knew I was going to have a good day. I am an educator with our ever-growing after school program and my morning walks have offered me time to reflect on my work with youth and community members.
Written by Beth Heller
Thursday, 30 June 2016
It is the season of showy butterflies, buzzing cicadas, crackling grass hopper wings and CRIKT research. Nope, that is not a typo. CRIKT stands for “Citizens Researching Invertebrate Kritters Together” and this research team at the Urban Ecology Center is leading the nation in its approach to field ecological research. “Invertebrate Kritters” refers to the vast array of animals found in the insect, spider and mite categories. Because invertebrates impact people in a variety of ways: pollinating crops, decimating crops and invoking some of our greatest fears or senses of awe, they have been studied quite a bit over the years. So what sets CRIKT apart? It is WHO is involved and WHERE they work.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Studying nature is a great way to feel young…comparatively speaking, that is. There are trees that are hundreds of years old as well as turtle and bird species that can easily outlive the humans who care for them. The entire human race is like a newborn when compared to billion-year-old rocks. It’s mind blowing! Thanks to a generous gift from the Franke family, we’ve created a way to explore this concept of time through nature. We’re proud to introduce a new treasure, a 3 Billion Year Walk through the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum.
Written by Guest Blogger
Monday, 27 June 2016
Some wildflowers grow modestly, a few delicate blossoms held a few inches off the ground. Then there are bold wildflowers like the Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum). Waterleaf can’t wait for you to see it. Growing some two-feet tall, the waterleaf puts out showy balls of flowers. If you walk through Riverside Park on the right day in late spring, the whole park will be alive with this bushy wildflower.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
We are overwhelmed by your support for the Urban Ecology Center's 9th annual Summer Solstice Soirée. Our guests uncovered the hidden gem of Riverside Park as they celebrated nature in the heart of the city. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our guests, sponsors, board of directors, friends and volunteers.
Written by Guest Blogger
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
If you asked someone to draw a flower, what would it look like? It would probably resemble a daisy, or maybe a tulip, right? What it wouldn’t look like is the strangely fleshy, three-pointed flower of Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense). In that same drawing, the flower would probably be shown standing proudly erect, basking in the sunlight like the “day’s eye,” which incidentally is the origin of the word daisy. You probably wouldn’t draw a flower hidden under large leaves, slumping messily into the soil. But wild ginger is not your typical flower. It doesn’t even have petals!
Written by Guest Blogger
Monday, 09 May 2016
Spring is a glorious season in Wisconsin. After the snow melts but before the trees grow leaves, wildflowers cover the forest floors. Right here in the parks of Milwaukee, you can find a brilliant display of spring ephemerals, and one of the first to bloom here is Cutleaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata).
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 09 May 2016
It’s time to explore! Our Urban Adventures programs will have you paddling, pedaling and climbing all summer long. Get into nature, there’s so much life!Thanks to your support, kids and adults in the city can canoe, bike or climb — often for the first time. What a great way to be introduced to nature!
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