Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Skipping school, dodging the Riverside Park branch manager and free snacks leads to a home away from home…the perfect recipe for an “Impossible made Possible” at the Urban Ecology Center! Jordan first came to the Urban Ecology Center in middle school on a Neighborhood Environmental Education Project fieldtrip. He remembers Mr. Flower coming and picking up his class in the busses and how cool it seemed to hang out in the woods. When he became a 9th grader at Riverside University High School, he realized that the Center’s Riverside Park branch was right across the field from his new school. He could come and visit afterschool!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 02 November 2015
"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra." - Jimmy Johnson I often hear how extraordinary the Urban Ecology Center is as an institution in Milwaukee. How did  we get this reputation?  Well ... I'm not 100 percent sure but I have do have a pretty good theory. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary — the secret to our success that is not shared with the world often enough — is the little extra from our volunteers!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Sunday, 01 November 2015
We’ve seen quite a bit of transition over the past couple of months and we’d like to introduce you to some of our fantastic new staff members! In no particular order, here are the staff who have been newly hired or recently promoted to a new role: Amy LaMacchia is our new Donor Relations Manager. Lianna Bishop was promoted to the new role of Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager. Brittany Peters was promoted to Membership and Development Systems Coordinator. Chris Steinkamp is our new Evaluation Coordinator but don’t worry, he will continue his half-time Volunteer Coordinator role at Menomonee Valley as he adds this new half-time role. Shameka Tyler is now the full-time Human Resources Specialist. Kirsten Maier is a…
Written by Terrance Davis
Saturday, 31 October 2015
I have seen many changes at the Urban Ecology Center at Washington Park since I started working here in March of 2012. When I began we operated out of only one-third of the building and were just dreaming of all the programs, rental space and activities we provide if we could use the whole building. Thanks to a lot of hard work and an amazing partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks Department, we now lease the entire building. That one change led to a whole series of other positive changes.
Written by Matt Flower
Friday, 30 October 2015
Despite my bias, I can honestly say that the Urban Ecology Center puts together a summer camp experience that even the most pristine and remote wilderness camp could never provide. One consistent comment parents and kids say about our summer camps is that we always do something fun and different every day in ways that showcase our great city. Milwaukee is a vibrant urban landscape with many gems waiting to be uncovered and part of our summer camp experience is to uncover those gems. We still provide a healthy dose of outdoor exploration, of course, but I think we offer aspects that might surprise you. They are an incredible mix of fun, fascination, adventure, exploration and opportunity.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Thursday, 29 October 2015
This time of year always gets me thinking about gratitude (I probably say that every November). This year, I want to share a story that perfectly captured for me why I’m so grateful to be a part of this work, and why I’m grateful for the support of so many people that make this work possible. Last spring, I had the opportunity to teach a 3rd grade Neighborhood Environmental Education Project class at our Menomonee Valley branch. It was a glorious late spring day—sunny with just that faintest taste of summer coming around the corner.
Written by Terry Evans
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin The Washington Park community is calling for YOU! Tell a friend, a co-worker, a relative, or an organization. Tell everyone, at the top of your lungs. Tell someone about the great partnership opportunities at the Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park. Recently we have been partnering with more and more youth-serving agencies, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee for example, across the entire city and have really enjoyed the opportunity to actively work with and teach our young people about the environment and being responsible stewards. The challenge has been and will continue to be fun and rewarding.
Written by Beth Heller
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
“An oasis in a city to learn about nature and teach kids about nature.” This is what one community forum participant said about our Menomonee Valley branch when asked how he would describe the Urban Ecology Center to a friend. Another said “It is a place to have fun and laugh.” And when asked about challenges we can help address in the neighborhood, we heard that we should continue to “increase safety along the bike path,” provide more “options for kids in the neighborhood,” and perhaps add programs to help address “balanced nutrition … Kids eat unhealthy foods.”
Written by Ken Leinbach
Monday, 26 October 2015
Do you remember those little gift books you used to give as a kid? You’d spend hours, carefully creating hand-made “coupons” for someone special. The promise was to take an ordinary experience and add a little extra. One might say you’d do the dishes without complaining. Another would say you’d give your parents a hug or plan a movie night. They were fun to make and even more fun when redeemed ... well, except for the chores, but even those would change ordinary activities into extraordinary experiences as grownups would often join in to help.
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.
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