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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!

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


Want to learn more? Join us for a free info session on Wednesday, May 24th for answers to all of your questions and a look at the full itinerary.


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.

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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!

You may have heard that the results of a recent EPA study found the presence of PCBs in the soil and sediment on the flood plain along a 4-mile section of the Milwaukee River that includes Riverside Park. We take health and safety very seriously, and we’re not worried. Here’s why: 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:50

See for Yourself - Facility Rentals at the UEC

In 2016, over 9,000 people attended events hosted by renters at our three branches. From weddings to meetings, we offer 14 eco-friendly spaces and many amenities that are perfect for small to fairly large groups.

More importantly, by holding an event at the Urban Ecology Center, you are helping a child to get out into nature. You are helping an adult canoe for the first time and a teen teach kids how to grow a garden.

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 15:37

Urban Ecology Book Resources

book cover flat web400

Start with kids exploring a park...

Thank you for taking the time to delve into the resources mentioned in Urban Ecology. We hope you find them helpful and inspiring as you contemplate how you can transform your community.

Below is a list of resources that were mentioned in the book (more to come). If you would like future updates of resources and workshops that we may have, please fill out the form found here. Also, let us know what topics interested you the most.

Watch the video below to learn the spark of understanding that led to the creation of the UEC

Birch Bark quotes

Looking for some inspiration? Just click on the birch bark images below to view a larger image and to download one (or more!).
We'd like to thank Melanie Ariens for her help with this project.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank small

George Santayana

George Santayana small

Pema Chödrön

Pena Chodron small

 Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco small

Michael-Weilbacher

Michael Weilbacher small

Walt Disney

Walt Disney small

 Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson small

 Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson small

 

The Urban Ecology Center transforms kids, parks, cities and the world with your support. As a privately-funded nonprofit, we rely on the generosity of our members and donors to achieve our mission. Please consider a gift of support to the Urban Ecology Center.

Support the Urban Ecology Center

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 13:54

The Launch of our First Book

Below is a short synopsis of the book. Click here if you'd like to learn the story behind it.

We are excited to share that the Urban Ecology Center's new book is now available! It's called Urban Ecology: a Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities, and the World and the author is our Executive Director, Ken Leinbach. 

The book shares the story of the beginning of the Urban Ecology Center and our growth into three vibrant Milwaukee branches. It includes our lessons learned along the way such as how to find abundance in our community, the power of prototypes, and how to raise money.

Monday, 30 January 2017 16:26

Winterfest 2017

Winterfest was again a success! Even without snow! During this annual free family festival hosted in Washington Park, the community enjoyed arts, crafts, guided nature walks, and even sled dogs from Door County Sled Dogs. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our sponsor, Joy Global.

The bitter cold of Milwaukee winters makes it difficult for many to stay active and have any interest in leaving the house to enjoy the outdoors.

Since I joined the Outdoor Leader program at the Urban Ecology Center this summer, I've come to understand that this place can make it possible to have fun outdoors in any weather. I have never considered myself to be a 'winter person,' often opting to stay cuddled up in a blanket on the couch once the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

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Friday, May 26th

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