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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Tuesday, 05 March 2013
For Jill Holstine, owner and operator of Rubicon River Farm (RR Farm), fresh, healthy food plays a role in healing the body as well as the soul. Jill was working as a marketing director and used gardening as a way to “decompress”.  Then she began experiencing health issues. She started RR Farm as a hobby in 2009 because she realized she needed to turn to people and soil to heal. Her hobby and garden grew from a ½ acre to 3 acres in a few years. “My health concerns ended up to be worse than I originally thought and food became a major part of the healing process,” said Jill. “I have always enjoyed cooking, gardening and talking to others…
Written by Matt Flower
Tuesday, 05 March 2013
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. 
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Monday, 04 March 2013
Like a number of farmers drawn to what is often referred to as the "local food movement," Sandy Raduenz and David Kozlowski of Pinehold Gardens were not born into farming families.  In fact, they left their full-time "office" careers in their 40's to pursue this physically demanding yet rewarding vocation.  They became owners of their farm in 2004 yet have offered a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program since 1995.   They work to provide the freshest, highest quality fruits and vegetables, educate members and nonmembers on sustainable food and energy issues and illustrate the importance of community in our food system.  They are motivated by this commitment and the opportunity to make the world just a little better.
Written by Joel Springsteen
Monday, 04 March 2013
Common Wood Sedge, Carex blanda, is one of the most ubiquitous native woodland plants. This lush yet tough plant is often seen growing next to paths indicating that it is well adapted to disturbed and compacted soils and that its seeds are spread via mud stuck to the bottom of shoes, paws, and hooves. The seeds may also be distributed by woodland ants. The leaves and seeds of native Carex are an important sources of food for wildlife.
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Tim Huth owns LotFotL Community Farm (LotFotL rhymes with “hot bottle” and stands for Living off the Fat of the Land). Tim became interested in vegetable farming while studying at Carroll University in Waukesha. With a strong interest in building community, Tim realized that he wanted to build a skill that produced tangible results that contributed to whatever community he was a part of. So what started out as a back porch container garden in college, blossomed into a business in 2007.
Written by Beth Heller
Monday, 25 February 2013
Eight year old Sammy has just found a soft-shelled turtle along the Milwaukee River. It is visible only because it was startled when the group of summer campers came just close enough to this very well-camouflaged Riverside Park resident for it to make a run for the more protective waters. Sammy calls to his new friend, John, saying “Look at this turtle. What a weird nose!” The two excitedly watch as the turtle looks back for a moment then dives into the river. They giggle a little as the carapace disappears under the surface of the water.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum is becoming a reality thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Pieter Godfrey, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, The River Revitalization Foundation, Wisconsin DNR, Milwaukee County Parks, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition and many more donors and volunteers. See what's been happening with your support!
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
For Steve Young and Debra Jo Becker of Rare Earth Farm in Belgium, Wisconsin, “farming isn't something you do when you feel like it- it's a lifestyle.” The pair, who described themselves as a couple of happily married farmers, have over twenty years of experience growing crops and caring for the land. According to Debra Jo, “if you don't care for your soil first it almost isn't worth bothering to care for your crops- especially over the long-term.”
Written by Chad Thomack
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Ah yes, nothing like the crispness of a cold winter day! The fresh cold air in my lungs wakes up the mind and body. Silently I ski across a bluff over looking Lake Michigan in the glow of a winter moon as my dog runs next to me. I pause for a moment to take in complete silence; I feel as though I am in the deep woods of northern Wisconsin but am only a few miles from downtown Milwaukee.
Written by Beth Heller
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
"...the crisp, prehistoric roar of thousands of cranes filled our ears and our heads so fully that we almost needed ear plugs. Their wild calls resonated in our lungs, bones and hearts." As I’ve, ahem, matured, I’ve noticed that memory is a tricky thing. Sometimes I remember things from years ago as though they happened just moments ago. Sometimes things that happened yesterday are as foggy as if they happened years ago. Today, I’m excited to share something that happened years ago, but I can recall it as if it just happened.

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