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Matt Flower

Matt Flower

Environmental Educator Matt Flower joined the Urban Ecology Center in 2006.  Matt received his Naturalist training at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg, Wisconsin and was an Educator and Land Manager at Neighborhood House’s Nature Center. He is married with two young children. Matt’s interests include birds, wild edibles, trees, winter ecology and, most of all, teaching kids how to explore wild spaces and make nature come alive. For Matt, a smile is worth a thousand words. He finds it empowering to work with people who love what they do.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 12:21

Cultivating Crucial Connections

There’s a certain allure to farming that resonates with almost everyone. It’s very hard work, but your daily connection to the land is powerful. As an environmental educator at the Urban Ecology Center I consider myself a farmer of connections.

From birth, children are developing their connection with the wider world and the many experiences in nature make up the threads that are woven throughout our entire lives.

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.

Every spring I get excited about the start of the growing season. You may think that my name being Matt Flower drives this next statement, but really, I treat it as a family reunion. Each week old friends come back to visit — either nesting in the same woods, growing in the same spot, slithering by the same log or fluttering in the same area. One of my favorites friends of spring are the common violets — a small purple flower of the forest, field and lawn. Despite its common appearance and stature, the common violets is a giant among edibles. Packing as much vitamin C as a whole orange and the leaves are one of two wild plants topping the vitamin A charts, this flower makes a great edible.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 11:38

The Beauty of Fall Trees

Trees are the stars of autumn's dazzling display, and this time of year brings a special opportunity to learn more about their leaves' unique shape and color.

Monday, 21 October 2013 00:00

Pumpkins: More Than Just Decorations

Every fall, I see dozens of pumpkins put out as Halloween decorations, and I wonder if people realize the nutritional benefits from this wonderful squash cultivar. Saving the seeds for roasting and using the pumpkin "meat" for making pumpkin butter are my favorite uses - and as a bonus make wonderful gifts during this season of family get-togethers. How nice would it be to receive a small jar of pumpkin butter and nice loaf of home baked bread? I know I'd be jazzed! Each batch of treats comes out a little different every time I cook, but this tests my creative culinary skills. Here are two of my favorite recipes for you all to enjoy!

Pssst...parents. I have a brilliant plan! Don't tell your kids, but I'm leading a Summer Camp for Parents. Year after year, I have parents and adults telling me how lucky I am to have a job that’s so much fun. They wail and complain, "Why should my kids be the ONLY ones in the family to have all the fun?", "Why should they be the ONLY ones who get to learn, play, exercise and explore?" So this year we're gonna have some fun - just us adults!

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 09:29

CSI Phenology Phun

A good CSI detective needs tools, clues and evidence to try and recreate a crime scene.  In the case of phenology, you also need tools, clues and evidence to recreate an accurate picture of an ecosystem. 

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