Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
As I look longingly over the Menomonee Valley river basin currently radiating with spring promise, I am reminded of last week’s bitter rain and our dashed hopes of seeing the season's first Red-winged Blackbird. But spring’s sweet whispers delivered on the high note of a cardinal’s song today again brought hope that spring was still on its way. But, what if we weren’t driven by hope but by some kind of undeniable intuition or reverberating internal awareness? How does a wild animal adapt during an unpredictable Wisconsin winter?
Written by Antonio Garcia
Tuesday, 06 March 2018
Just for a moment, try to think back to your first fond memory around water. What were you doing? Who were you with? What did that experience mean to you as you grew older? Our memories and stories - especially those around water - help shape us as individuals, families and as a people. Just as the water sustains us; the way we treat and respect (or disrespect) the waters in return reflect back on us as a people - like a mirror, revealing parts of our Milwaukee story.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 28 February 2018
At the Urban Ecology Center, we work towards making nutritious, healthy food accessible to everyone in our communities. Thanks to your support, our food programs have made a huge impact in helping hundreds of people in Milwaukee learn about and experience real, sustainable food. Here’s how!
Written by Beth Heller
Sunday, 25 February 2018
We have a lot to be proud of here in our city. Milwaukee is at the forefront of US and global urban environmental initiatives, positioning itself as a world class eco-city. The city signed on to the international environmental principals of the Paris Accord. The United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All recognized Milwaukee for its innovative approaches through public-private partnerships that speed up implementation of efficient buildings. We’re the only city in the US contributing to this global effort. Along with Milwaukee’s growing initiatives this year came a big change for the Urban Ecology Center.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Friday, 23 February 2018
In the calendar year of holidays, Earth Day is the young upstart. Full of possibilities, but not clearly defined. We can tick off common traditions for holidays like New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Halloween, but what about Earth Day? Yet, even without exciting customs of gift exchanges or dressing up in costume, Earth Day is celebrated in 193 countries all over the world! Cool, eh? We’d like to help the young holiday of Earth Day have its own annual ritual to mark the important day.
Written by Angélica Sánchez
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Winter: a simple word that has the ability to quickly put either a smile or a frown on your face. To many, winter is a much anticipated season with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Yet to others, winter can be a “yucky” time where you find yourself running from one building to the other trying to avoid the cold. For many of our students, winter can simply mean a time when you stay indoors. It is precisely those students who I love spending time with during our school field trips, since I myself felt that way not too long ago.
Written by Jaime Cano
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
The German zoologist Ernst Haeckel coined the word ecology almost 150 years ago. He combined a couple of Greek words to do this trick: “oikos” means "habitation" and “-ology” means "the study of." This fact may already be part of your ample knowledge, but a quick reminder won´t hurt: ecology started off as the study of where things live. In ecology, sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Who doesn't want to be diverse and productive indefinitely? I remember when I was younger and able to dunk a basketball…
Written by Jeff Veglahn
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Midway through February and we finally have a “Wisconsin Winter”! I don’t know about you, but this time of year is one of the reasons why I love living in Wisconsin. Whether I’m sledding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing, I make sure to get outside, along with my dog, when the snow builds up! Not only does the snow make winter more enjoyable, it also helps absorb sound and reflect light to make the whole landscape quieter and brighter. Not only does the snow make winter months more enjoyable (or tolerable, depending on your point-of-view), it also is very beneficial for ecosystems.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Have you ever been snowshoeing before? If not, now may be the perfect time to give it a try! We've had wonderful weather for winter adventures lately, and every branch has been bustling with people of all ages borrowing snowshoes and hitting the trails. The amount of snow on the ground right now at all three of our locations is ideal for snowshoeing - we recommend around 6" to a foot (or more!) of snow. 
Written by Kim Forbeck
Monday, 29 January 2018
The Oak Leaf Trail is my regular bike commute route from home to work and back. The morning commute is an especially quiet and beautiful experience from the morning a whitetail deer ran alongside me for 50 meters to watching the continuous show of wild geraniums in the spring through scarlet colored sumac in the fall.  A former Chicago-Northwest Railway line, I sometimes imagine what it would have been like to witness those locomotives flying past. In the 1930s, the “400” trains that rumbled along this route were the fastest long-distance passenger trains in the world! The 400 train was named for the route distance of 400 miles between St. Paul, MN and Chicago, IL which it could cover in…
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