Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Ken Leinbach
Wednesday, 07 October 2015
It is with great excitement that I get to announce that the Urban Ecology Center has two new directors on staff! Jen (Feltz) Hense is our Director of Development and Jeff McAvoy is our Director of Marketing and Communications. These two fantastic individuals have joined the Leadership Team of the Center, meaning that they are helping to make key decisions and shape the future of the Urban Ecology Center.
Written by MaryBeth Kressin
Friday, 02 October 2015
I love working at Riverside Park on a Sunday. It is unlike any other day of the week. True, it is the shortest day that we have open hours (only from 12-5), but in those five hours the laughter, playing and energy cannot compare to any others. "Walk" with me and see what a typical Sunday is like. The cool quiet moments before the building opens there is an almost palpable peace as our small but strong weekend staff prepares for the day. After we walk around straightening this and that, make sure the coffee is brewed and the music is turned on, we unceremoniously unlock the front door.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Our first-ever fundraising hike, HKE MKE, was on Sunday September 20th and it was a fantastic event! Over 200 people of all ages came out on a beautiful day for our 2.5-mile hike through the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum and the Milwaukee River Corridor.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 02 September 2015
Did you know that September is Coastal Awareness Month? Here at the Center we’re celebrating our amazing “third coast” with a number of water-based educational programs geared toward educational exploration and recreation of Milwaukee’s watersheds.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 02 September 2015
Spending time outdoors, actively engaging with nature is what our Summer Camps are all about! Our campers explore the secrets of nature by looking under logs, hiking in the woods, climbing trees, building forts, creating art projects, taking pictures and more with kids from all over the city. They’re building science and engineering skills to be better prepared for school year.
Written by Michael Espinoza
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
Being outside is awesome because there is something for everyone. This was perfectly illustrated on a camping adventure with the Menomonee Valley Young Scientists Club this past summer. We packed two buses full of tents, sleeping bags, food and ourselves and drove up to Blue Heron Wildlife Sanctuary for our first Young Scientists and parents camping trip. Camping was a new experience for many, so we planned to do the basics like preparing dinner over a fire, telling stories and exploring the woods at night. But perhaps the best parts of the whole trip were the things that had not been planned.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
One of the longest running programs we have at the Urban Ecology Center is called River Connections. Through this program, students get right into the Milwaukee River in hip waders to test water quality at two locations – one urban, here in Riverside Park, and one rural, at Riveredge Nature Center. The students are amazed when, on occasion, the readings they find in the city are better than the rural readings. We teach them that this is due, in part, to the removal of the North Avenue Dam which allowed the river to flow free, cleaning itself. This free flowing water is essential to river health, which is essential to our health.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
  The thing I enjoy most about working at the Urban Ecology Center is the occasional unforgettable experience I get to share with volunteers. They don’t happen every day, but sometimes Mother Nature waves her wand at a precise second and a really special moment is created. I’ve seen volunteers cry in reverence to close natural experiences and I’ve experienced the pure magic of nature more times than should probably be allowed. But last week a trio of beat cops shared with me a moment that was surely conjured by the powerful mother herself.
Written by Sam Huenink
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
“Twelve high schoolers spending seven days in the wilderness without their cell phones? We will see how this goes!” I thought as we boarded the plane on our way to Wyoming. This adventure is a highlight of our two-year High School Outdoor Leadership internship that introduces teens to environmental careers and gives them solid employment experience they can put on college applications.
Written by Maddie Bird
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
"It’s a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” This Bilbo Baggins quote perfectly sums up my summer as an Urban Ecology Center intern. Before I came here, I had no idea what my summer would have in store. As my internship draws to a close next week, I can honestly say that the experiences and places I was swept off to by this job have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
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