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Urban Ecology Center

Urban Ecology Center

At the Urban Ecology Center, we get people of all ages outside and active every single day!  We foster ecological understanding as inspiration for change, neighborhood by neighborhood.  Read more about us here!

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 22:05

Iceland 2018 (sold-out)

Iceland’s scenery is breathtaking – the result of glacial and volcanic processes. The country has a unique social and political history and its location just below the Arctic Circle will likely result in large impacts from climate change over the coming years.

Gooafoss AEvar Guomundsson
Goðafoss, the "waterfall of the gods," just one of the extraordinary stops on our Eco-travel trip to Iceland! Photo: Ævar Guðmundsson

Dimmuborgir Sander Hoogendoorn
The lava fields of Dimmuborgir make for an otherworldly landscape. Photo: Sander Hoogendoorn

When

August 23 – September 1, 2018 (10 days, 9 nights)

Highlights

  • 3 hour whale watching cruise from Húsavík
  • Climbing an extinct volcanic crater
  • Waterfalls exploration including Hraunfossar, which drains from under vast lava fields into the river Hvítá, Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Gullfoss, a beautiful double waterfall and Goðafoss, "the waterfall of the gods"
  • Visiting Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier
  • Touring amazing geothermal sites including geysers, lava fields and hot springs.
  • Boat ride among the floating icebergs on the glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón.
  • Discover thousands of years of Nordic history

Cost

$5975.00 plus airfare (double occupancy)

This trip is already filled! If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505 

Dettifoss Neil DCruze
The glacier-fed Dettifoss, in Vatnajökull National Park, is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe! Photo: Neil D'Cruze

 


The Urban Ecology Center Eco-travel program offers a unique way to explore local and international destinations while exploring issues around sustainability. Your participation supports the Urban Ecology Center’s mission.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 20:11

Costa Rica 2018

With the largest percentage of protected areas of any country and plans to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, the New Economics Foundation rated Costa Rica as the greenest country in the world. We’ll explore the amazing natural areas and biodiversity that bring visitors from around the world, while also looking into social and economic forces that contribute to some of the best examples of sustainability on a national level.

caiman tortuguero park Global Water Forum
Traveling the canals of Tortuguero National Park. Can you spot the caiman in this shot? Photo: Global Water Forum

sunbittern Tapanti Park Kathy Sam
See sunbitterns like this in Tapanti National Park. Photo: Kathy & Sam

When

January 31 – February 11, 2018 (12 days, 11 nights)

Highlights

  • Tortuguero National Park, a unique area where the primary avenues of exploring are the many naturally-formed canals through primary rainforest. This area was preserved primarily to protect sea turtles and jaguars.
  • Orosi, one of the few colonial cities that have preserved Spanish architecture from the 16- and 1700’s.
  • Tapanti National Park, home of Baird’s tapir, jaguarondi, kinkajou, monkeys and 400+ species of birds.
  • Opportunities to go whitewater rafting and snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean – but if that is too adventurous – relaxing in volcanic hot springs!

Cost

$2625.00 plus airfare (double occupancy)

If you are interested in this trip, have questions, or would like more information, please contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505 or attend a free information session with Carlos Chavarría, Director of Costa Rica Rainforest Experience and former Director of Tirimbina Rain Forest on Monday, October 30th at 6pm at the Riverside Park branch.

Carlos Chavarría will give a preview of the Urban Ecology Center's trip to Costa Rica. We’ll explore the amazing natural areas and biodiversity that bring visitors from around the world, while also looking into social and economic forces that contribute to some of the best examples of sustainability on a national level.


Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi WJ
The Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi (built in 1743) in the Orosi Valley of Costa Rica. Photo: W & J

 

The Urban Ecology Center Eco-travel program offers a unique way to explore local and international destinations while exploring issues around sustainability. Your participation supports the Urban Ecology Center’s mission.

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 17:08

Join Us for the 3rd Annual HKE MKE!

HKE MKE registration is now open! Join us on Sunday, September 17th for the Urban Ecology Center’s 3rd annual HKE MKE. Enjoy a beautiful 2.5 mile family-friendly hike through the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum and along the Milwaukee River. Funds raised by participants help to preserve amazing urban natural areas and support the Center's mission of connecting people to nature.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 17:22

Summer Camp Isn’t Just for Kids!

Summer camp season is in full swing here at the Center, and our branches are echoing with the sounds of happy children having adventures! If you’re feeling a little jealous of all the fun our campers are having, then we have the perfect event for you – our Grown-Up Summer Camp, brought to you by our friends at New Belgium Brewing and hosted at our Riverside Park branch.

Thursday, 29 June 2017 12:08

See For Yourself - UEC Summer Camps

For many young people in Milwaukee living in poverty, the summer months can mean a lack of access to resources that support academic and developmental progress.

But YOU are making a difference! Your support is helping give Milwaukee’s children a chance to have a better summer experience by getting them outside and engaging in nature-based learning. Thank you!

Last Saturday marked the Urban Ecology Center's 10th annual Summer Solstice Soirée as well as the 10th Anniversary of our branch in Washington Park.

Guests enjoyed an illuminating evening with Washington Park’s lagoon as a picturesque backdrop as we celebrated how the Urban Ecology Center and our supporters are lighting the way by educating youth, preserving the land, connecting people to nature and bringing communities together.

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 16:43

Michigan: The Sunset Side 2017

Join the Urban Ecology Center for an Eco-travel adventure focused on exploring the sunset side of one of our greatest freshwater resources Lake Michigan!

Eco Travel MichiganSunset at Sable Lighthouse in Ludington State Park. Photo: Dan Chrenka

View the sunrise from the deck of the Lake Express ferry as we travel to Muskegon, Michigan to tour the diverse ecosystems, industries, and communities of the state's northwest Lower Peninsula before returning to Wisconsin aboard the National Historic Landmark ferry, the S.S. Badger.

Sights on our jounrey will include:

  • The industrial port city of Muskegon
  • Ludington State Park's renowned coastal ecosystems
  • Huron-Manistee National Forest and the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly habitat
  • The motor vehicle-free Main Streets and Gilded Age living of Mackinac Island
  • The steep sandy slopes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Discover the surreal, wind-swept topography of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Photo: Bailiwick Studios

 

When: Saturday, August 19th through Friday, August 25th, 2017

Cost:  $1,800 per person ($2,325 for single occupancy room)

Includes:

  • 7 day trip exploring the sunset side of Lake Michigan
  • 3 ferries on Lake Michigan (technically one is also on Lake Huron)
  • 6 nights of hotel accommodations (double occupancy)
  • 7 days of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (or Per Diem allowance)
  • Entrance fees to State Park, National Forest, National Lakeshore, and museums
  • Urban Ecology Center transportation throughout
  • Charming Urban Ecology Center guides who will worry about planning all the details—from guided excursions to getting you to historic Main Streets with time to explore on your own
  • Support for the Urban Ecology Center’s mission

Does not include: Alcohol and optional activities, such as during free time to explore Ludington State Park and Mackinac Island (e.g., carriage rides, bike rentals, high tea, additional tours).

A $500 mostly refundable deposit reserves a spot on the trip.

To learn more or to sign up, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

karner blue 2
Visit the habitat of the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) in Huron-Manistee National Forest.

 

Mackinac Island
Explore the preserved Victorian architecture of Mackinac Island. Photo: Brandon Bartoszek

 

Traverse City wine countryTour Michigan's oldest winery, the Grand Chateau Traverse during our visit to Traverse City.

 

Collaborating with Menomonee Valley Partners, our branch is the hub of natural restoration and community. Some highlights include partnering with 19 schools, over 50 afterschool programs and 18 Summer Camps.

Monday, 24 April 2017 18:12

Go Paperless

Fill out my online form.

 If you have questions about your membership, contact Brittany Peters at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

April 22nd is Earth Day, celebrated around the world as a day to protect, steward and learn about the earth. Here at the Center we're inviting everyone to help celebrate with our Earth Day of Service, a morning of pitching in with friends and neighbors at each of our three branches to show some love to our little corner of the planet - come join us!

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Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Nature Play - November

Riverside Park

Monday, November 20th

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

More Details...

Nature Rangers: Monday Series

Riverside Park

Monday, November 20th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

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