Menu
Stories
Beth Heller

Beth Heller

Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning, Beth received her Masters in Business Administration from UW-Milwaukee in 2005, where she received the Outstanding Business Plan award for a plan to launch a branch of the Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park. She graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI in 1994 with a B.A. degree in Biology and Education. Beth began working at the Urban Ecology Center in 2000 to combine her love of the city with her appreciation of nature. Beth loves to sail, bike, sing and hike.

“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.”

This year, on my 43rd birthday, my husband gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Along with a beautiful map of Milwaukee County Parks, he agreed to visit all of the parks with me before my 44th birthday. That’s 142 parks in one year! How awesome is that?

The green scape of Milwaukee County is part of what I love about living here. At the point of writing this, we are only 8% into the year-long adventure. I could easily write a page about each park, the awe and magic of nature we’ve experienced, their natural attributes and the way people interact with them.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Welcome Terry!

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.

Friday, 09 January 2015 00:00

Finding Inspiration in Washington Park

“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.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 00:00

We’re in it Together

It was a crisp autumn day - perfect for a bicycle commute - and I was using my lunch hour to pedal between the Center’s branches. Zipping downhill on Highland Boulevard toward MillerCoors, I hit a big bump that popped my chain out of gear, jamming it so that the pedals would no longer crank. I coasted to a stop and within a few seconds was surrounded by three Harley-Davidson-attired gentlemen. Before I could utter a greeting, one asked if they could help. I nodded yes and within 30 seconds the chain was back in place.

Monday, 25 August 2014 00:00

Celebrating the Journey

He first arrived at the Urban Ecology Center as a guest presenter who shared the story of his solo 61 day wilderness trip tracing the steps of Charles A. Sheldon through the back country of Denali on the 100th anniversary of Sheldon’s trek. Shortly thereafter, Willie Karidis was hired at our Washington Park branch. Five years later Willie is returning to Alaska where, tapping into his deep appreciation for nature, wilderness and the depth of the human spirit, he will be the Chief Operating Officer of the world famous, 1049 mile Iditarod dogsled race!

Friday, 27 June 2014 00:00

More Than a Pretty Place

“This is important work. More than that – this work has allowed me to realize the value I internally place on nature, play and children’s health. It has taken me back to growing up as one of only three families living around a small lake we now fondly refer to as “Walden.” It has allowed me to formalize my understanding of how nature’s loose parts had a great influence on my play as a child, and also on the value I place on environmental protection and nature engagement as an adult."

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 14:48

The Arboretum’s First Spring

Every spring, Center staff members have a friendly competition of “firsts.” As the snow melts, folks vie to be the first person to see a red-wing blackbird, chipmunk or spring flower. But the most important “first” to me is found in the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. This is the first year we’ll begin to see the results of our hard work last fall.

All of Wisconsin’s ecosystems are represented in the Arboretum, from soil make-up to wildflowers to tree species. This amazing new asset for the city was built for everyone to enjoy. 

Tuesday, 04 March 2014 16:03

Earth Day? Earth Month!

For 44 years Earth Day has been celebrated around the world on April 22nd as a day to protect, steward and learn about the earth. It’s one of our favorite holidays at the Urban Ecology Center, but we always have too much earth-celebrating enthusiasm for one day. It has caused a bit of a dilemma for us — do we spend the day educating others about our fascinating planet or plan a day of service so you can dig into the dirt? Do we create programs about water or take you out in a canoe to experience it? We want to do it all and one 24-hour day is just not enough. So, we’re declaring April to be Earth Month at the Urban Ecology Center!

Monday, 23 December 2013 16:08

Washington Park: Ready to Blossom!

Can you believe it’s been only seven years since we hired our first staff member to start up our Washington Park branch? The growth there has been amazing! With the start of a new year, we, like many of you, are reflecting on the past and thinking about our plans for the year ahead. These two perspectives, hindsight and anticipation, seemed like the best way to give an update on our Washington Park branch! Wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. It all started with...

Page 2 of 4

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Volunteer Papermaking

Riverside Park

Monday, December 11th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

Nature Rangers: Monday Series

Riverside Park

Monday, December 11th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

Find event

Connect

Email Sign-Up

Which Emails would you like to receive?
 
 
 
 

Connect Now

facebook instagram twitter linkedin snapchat

Get Involved

Become a member today!

Copyright © 2016 The Urban Ecology Center. Website by Savvy Panda.