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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Danny Pirtle
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
 “Think globally, act locally.” Although she didn’t come up with this slogan herself, Carol Brill tries to live her life by this guiding motto. By getting involved with local organizations in her community, Carol recognizes that her work and actions will make a far-reaching impact. This principle is what steered her to becoming a volunteer at the Urban Ecology Center where she can now be found operating the Riverside Park reception desk every Friday afternoon.
Written by Meghan Jones
Monday, 23 October 2017
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." - Elizabeth Andrew We have amazing volunteers at the Urban Ecology Center. It’s a simple statement, but it’s so true!
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Friday, 20 October 2017
It’s officially autumn! Time for pumpkins and sweaters and soaking up every moment of sunshine before winter hits. Fall is such a wonderful time of year. The entire forest turns into a spectacle of color and light — a showy and powerful promise from Mother Nature that if we huddle through these few cold months, she’ll be back and better than ever. Walking through the woods in fall, with a crisp silent breeze and only the sound of feet through dry leaves, one might think that the forest seems to be settling down for a big nap. From the perspective of a tree, though, fall is an incredibly busy season.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
On an early morning bird walk last year, we smelled our find before we saw her. The smell of necrosis mixed with day-old vomit lingered on the light breeze. We scoured the nearby terrain trying to find the mysterious decaying matter hidden amongst the leaf litter only to remain perplexed. And then we saw her. Perched on a tree branch, just 10 feet from our heads, sat the pungent perpetrator.
Written by Michaela Molter
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Has the weather lately left you feeling parched yet sweaty? Us too, but we can hardly stay inside knowing Autumn’s flower and foliage color display is on its way. While the weather remains unseasonably warm and minimal if any rain is in sight, many of our Wisconsin native plant species can take the heat as well as the drought conditions.
Written by Beth Heller
Friday, 22 September 2017
This year the Urban Ecology Center is celebrating 10 years of programming in Washington Park. What an amazing 10 years it has been! We opened our Washington Park branch in 2007. This was our first attempt to expand our mission outside of Riverside Park. We rented one third of our current home in the Milwaukee County Park’s Washington Park Pavilion with the help of many neighbors, donors and friends.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Thursday, 21 September 2017
I am excited to announce that print copies of our new book — Urban Ecology: A Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities and the World — will be available for sale this fall at the Urban Ecology Center! Soon you will be able to get your very own signed copy to both support the Center and spread the word. The e-book launched in April on Amazon and quickly rose to best seller status in the Children’s Study and the Urban Planning & Development categories … wild eh? But as great as that was, I have to admit that having a hard copy in hand will be very satisfying.
Written by Michaela Molter
Thursday, 14 September 2017
People around the country are joining in on the growing native plant gardening movement. In addition to providing a multitude of vital habitat components for wildlife, native grasses, sedges, wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and ferns also conserve water, are less maintenance than majority of ornamental cultivars, and save money in multiple ways. Yet, even with all these benefits it can be challenging to work through the many stigmas that have come to over shadow Naturescaping.
Written by Tim Vargo
Wednesday, 06 September 2017
If you’re familiar with the term lifelong learning, the idea is that the desire to learn about the world remains strong with people who aren’t enrolled in a course at an institution of higher learning. Here at the Center we’ve previously offered college-level courses in Tropical Ecology and Plant Systematics, and now we’re excited to announce a course in Conservation Biology.
Written by Katie Schober
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Are we going to catch a butterfly or dragonfly?” Miranda asked doubtfully as I again missed a green darner high up in the tree branches. Miranda, a camper in our Nature Explorers group, was fascinated by all things that fly. She was singularly focused on catching butterflies and dragonflies for observation.

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