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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

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.
Written by Terrance Davis
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Having started my new position as the Visitor Services Assistant in November, I have been fortunate to observe the daily branch activities here in Washington Park. My conclusion... The Washington Park Urban Ecology Center fills me with happiness each day! There are so many things that fill me with joy, and I certainly had a huge smile on my face when I was asked to write this article. But nothing prompts a smile faster than the smile of another person. It’s contagious. Just ask my friends and co-workers at the Urban Ecology Center; they will confirm that I keep a smile on my face all the time. There are so many people to thank for this: members, volunteers, visitors, staff…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Monday, 18 February 2013
When I was in college I took a year-long course titled Water 211. Before taking the class, I had a fairly average depth of knowledge and relationship with water: I consumed water, I used water, and I knew the basics about water. But beyond that, I didn’t give it much additional thought. Upon completion of the class my deep, and somewhat nerdy, fascination with water had blossomed. Water is truly amazing! Second to no other molecule, in my book.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Monday, 18 February 2013
I am not a parent, so I can’t claim to know what the highs and lows of parenthood might be, but I imagine one of the most incredible experiences must be to witness the transition from not being into being: to have in your life, all of a sudden, a wonderful living thing that wasn’t there at all before. I got to experience that a little bit the other day at the Menomonee Valley branch.
Written by Beth Heller
Monday, 18 February 2013
Moments before 7am on a cold Tuesday morning, Jaimie Cloud, an education for sustainability expert from New York, and I dashed up the steps of Carmen High School. We were greeted by an enthusiastic math teacher and student and guided to the classroom. There, very professional looking students anxiously prepared to share their projects with us. These students spent the previous three weeks learning about sustainability: economic, ecological and equitable understandings of the world around them. They were charged with researching, analyzing and visualizing a project that improved the sustainability of their school.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Monday, 18 February 2013
Ok, I’ll admit it. When Pieter Godfrey discussed the idea of converting the land he wished to donate into a unique ecosystem of trees … he and I had only a vague notion of what exactly an arboretum was. My instinct in calling it an Arboretum instead of a park was less biologic and more practical - a marketing tool. The name had the panache to attract attention and hopefully the support needed for the ambitious project of tearing down an old factory and reclaiming the worn industrial land into public green space. When the marketing plan started to work, and support started to pour in, it became evident that understanding the term Arboretum was important.
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Friday, 15 February 2013
Old Plank Farm is in its fifth year as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm offering sustainably grown produce, eggs and poultry to the Milwaukee area. The farm is located on 25 acres in Sheboygan County in the town of Plymouth. Stephanie Bartel owns and operates Old Plank Farm. Prior to beginning this farm five years ago, she worked for several years at a neighboring CSA, Springdale Farm. With her excellent crew of interns, Stephanie is excited to be able to provide CSA boxes for nearly 200 families this coming season. She lives and works at her 25 acre farm year round, taking care of the laying flocks in the winter, and endlessly reading and studying ways to improve her…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Friday, 15 February 2013
Stems Cut Flowers is a sustainably managed, fresh-cut flower farm specializing in green weddings and a seasonal flower CSA. Providing members with an eco-friendly and socially responsible alternative when choosing fresh flowers. As owner and operator Emily Watson said “I graduated from UW Madison with a degree in tree hugging (also known as Biological Aspects of Conservation)  which landed me a job with a commercial landscaping company and eventually led to a job in the floral industry. There were parts of both jobs that I absolutely loved. But I was uncomfortable with environmental practices that go on within both of these industries. I could not in good conscience continue to be part of it. So I started a business partly…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Friday, 15 February 2013
JenEhr Family Farm has been offering CSA shares for 15 years along with sales at farmers markets, to natural food cooperatives and area restaurants. As Wisconsin natives and growing up on farms, owners Paul Ehrhardt and Kay Jensen understand the soil and infrastructure needs in growing healthy organic produce year round. Everything in their CSA share is grown at the farm, from early summer strawberries and blueberries to late fall broccoli and spinach. Using early season hoop houses, deep well irrigation and complimented with an incredible farm crew, JenEhr offers organic, sustainable and nutritious produce from April to December with informative weekly email newsletters. Every pickup site is staffed by someone from the farm to answer any questions about the…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Friday, 15 February 2013
Steve Levsen, his wife Andrea and their three children are the family who founded and run Stoney Meadow Farm. Their organically-grown produce flourishes on more than 10 acres. With a combined 50+ years of farming experience, they grow a wonderful, carefully chosen variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs picked within hours of making their way into your kitchen. Some of the distinguishing features of Stoney Meadow include: 16 week peak season CSA Farm share program, extended season share option as well, accommodating members’ vacations, not using black plastic on their crops, focusing on education and nutrition, offering a weekly newsletter/blog, farm tour and picnic, and various payment options.

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