In September 2004, the Urban Ecology Center opened the doors to it's new, eco-friendly building in Riverside Park. It was a tremendous change for us, one that never have happened without the help of our friends and neighbors. To honor this benchmark, we're inviting everyone to celebrate with us all year!
We began with a small group of people working out of a double-wide trailer. In order to accommodate the growing demands for our programs we asked the community for help. Together we created a community center that is a role model for green building options, a safe place for children to learn about the natural world, a resource for adults who are creating sustainable lifestyles and a fun place for outdoor recreation.
To kick things off we have lined up 10 months’ worth of “throwback” community programming that we are reviving from the past ten years with new twists (plus a bonus program because, well, why not?)
Hike Through History: River to Lake Walk (last seen in 2004)
Join friends and neighbors for a 4-mile fall walk from the Milwaukee River to Lake Michigan. Along the way you’ll hear stories telling of the changes to this community, land and waters. The walk will end at Collectivo Lakefront Café with time to enjoy a warm beverage and each other’s company (beverages not included in fee). Transportation back to Riverside Park will be available.
Saturday, November 15 | 9am – noon
For adults | $5 (Nonmembers: $7)
Cheesy Packer Party (last seen in 2008)
Eat good cheese, meet new people and cheer on the Pack as they take on the Buffalo Bills! Bring your favorite cheese to share and we’ll provide additional snacks. We’ll also have some games, activities and contests to add to the fun!
Sunday, December 14 | Noon – 3pm
For families | Adults: $5 (Nonmembers: $7) Children: $3 (Nonmembers: $5)
Snowshoe Olympics (last seen: 2011)
Test your physical and mental agility in these fun and snowy challenges!
Saturday, January 17 | 10am – noon
For everyone | $5 per person (Nonmembers: $7 per person)
Speed Dating for Nature Lovers (last seen: 2005)
Meet other outdoor and nature minded people in the area who are single in these 5 minute “mini-dates.” We’ll even provide nature-themed conversation starters if you want to use them! We’ll keep track of who you think you hit-it-off with and connect mutual matches to each other. Light appetizers and beverages provided. Participants will be divided into age groups: 25 – 30, 30 – 40, 40+
Thursday, February 5 | 6:30 – 8:30pm
For adults | $15 (Nonmembers: $20)
Nest Box Building Workshop (last seen: 2008)
Help welcome new birds to our community by building them a place to nest! Discover what local birds use nest boxes and then we’ll work together to construct some boxes. Don’t have a place for a nestbox? Donate it to us and we’ll find a place to put it up. All materials provided.
Saturday, March 14 | 9:30am – noon
For adults and teens | $20 (Nonmembers: $25)
Family Movie Night (last seen: 2007)
No foolin’ - Come to the Urban Ecology Center after hours for a movie! Light snacks and fun activities provided during the movie. Please bring your own blankets and pillows.
Wednesday, April 1 | 7 – 9pm
For everyone | Free - donations appreciated
Tuesday Night Trivia Triathlon (last seen: 2004)
This is a great way to have fun with friends and meet new people! Triathlon leg one: a beautiful 1.5 mile walk along the east bank trail from the Urban Ecology Center to the Rowing Club Boathouse. Leg two: Canoe downtown. Leg three: Team Trivia! Then enjoy a starlit paddle back to the Boathouse and we’ll give you a ride back to the Urban Ecology Center. *Food and drinks not included
Tuesdays in May | 6 – 10pm
For adults | $15 (Nonmembers: $20)
Bike the Branches: Urban Ecology Center Branch Loop Tour Bike Ride Fundraiser (last seen: 2009)
This twenty mile circle tour will take riders through the Urban Ecology Center’s neighborhoods. Staff and volunteers will be at each of our branches to give tours and answer questions about the Center. Refreshments available at each branch. Free T-shirt with registration.
Saturday, June 27 | 10am – 3pm
For everyone | $40 (Nonmembers: $50)
Girl’s Night Out(doors) (last seen: 2006)
Ladies, let’s get together and enjoy a night of outdoor activities!
Friday, July 10 | 6:30 – 10pm
For women ages 25-55 | fee TBD
Ice Cream Social and Community Art Project (last seen: Urban Ecology Center Grand opening, 2004)
Celebrate the last ten years and look forward to the next ten years at this community gathering. Live music, food trucks, activities for the whole family provided by our local community and interest groups – and of course, ICE CREAM!
For everyone | Free – donations appreciated
Earth Day? We have too much earth-celebrating enthusiasm for one day. So, we’re declaring April to be Earth Month! Each of our branches have a special Earth Month themed programs (see below for dates and times). You can:
Earth Month culminates with a city-wide, all-hands Earth Day of Service on April 26th!
Help us celebrate the earth — not for just a day, but for a whole month and beyond! Want to know why we chose to expand Earth Day to a whole month and how we chose our themes? Read this post by our Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning Beth Heller.
Come celebrate the Earth by giving back! Join us from 9am - noon for a morning of volunteer activities