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Displaying items by tag: Community Programs
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 on Wednesday, September 13th at 6 pm at the Riverside Park branch.

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, 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.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 16:38

A Fondness for Fishing

One of my very first memories, from when I was three or four years old, was of me fishing with my dad. He had taken me camping up in the Chequamegon-Nicolet national forest. I remember only bits and pieces of riding in the truck, sleeping in a tent, and sitting around a campfire. But being out on a lake in the boat, that I remember quite vividly.

Thursday, 01 June 2017 12:10

2017 Summer Paddling Preview

Warm weather has arrived, and that means it's canoe and kayak season! If you missed this blog post when it was originally published in 2015, we think you'll find it's just right for inspiring visions of sunny days out on the water. Read on, and be sure to take a look at our full list of summer paddling programs after the post!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 14:40

Paddle Sports Porter Service

Want to enjoy an afternoon paddle without having to stage cars and haul equipment? Our Paddle Sports Porter Service provides flexible launch and pickup options, complete gear outfitting, and the assistance of our knowledgeable staff – everything you need to have a fun, convenient excursion on the Milwaukee River!

downtown canoeingEnjoy a fun new view of downtown Milwaukee!

How Does it Work?

Available to contributing members of the Center who have taken our free Watercraft Lending Orientation (formerly known as the Water Safety Course), the Paddle Sports Porter Service lets you create a customized Friday or Saturday outing by selecting from our available options.

  1. First, register and reserve your desired watercraft from the available dates.
  2. Once you've registered, contact Lesley, our Community Programs Coordinator at (414) 964-8505 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your launch and return times.

    Launch Options:
    Pick up your boat and equipment at the Milwaukee Rowing Club Boathouse (1990 E North Commerce St). Schedule a launch time during one of the following blocks of time on the day of your reservation:
    • 10:00–11:30 AM
    • 1:00–2:30 PM

    Return Options:
    Paddle a bit or paddle a bunch – it's up to you! Tailor your outing by choosing a return time from the following four options:
    • 10:00–11:30 AM at the Rowing Club Boathouse
    • 1:00–2:30 PM at the Rowing Club Boathouse
    • 4:00–4:30 PM at the Rowing Club Boathouse
    • 3–3:30 PM from the public dock on the Menomonee River under N. Emmber Lane at Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and returned to the Boathouse.
    Learn more about which option is best for you!
  3. Arrive on the day of your reservation at your scheduled launch time and the Urban Ecology Center staff will get you geared up and assist you in launching your boat.
  4. Enjoy paddling the Milwaukee River!

What does it cost?

The Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service is available to Urban Ecology Center members and costs $15 dollars per boat.

Not a member but want to use the service? Join or renew today!

What's included?

  • Canoe or kayak
  • Paddles
  • PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)
  • Dock rope
  • Dry bag
  • A ride back to the Boathouse if that option is selected
  • The assistance of an Urban Ecology Center staff person to help you launch your boat and answer any questions you might have about the route.

Photo by Chris Winters
Let us handle the gear and work of launching your boat! Photo: Chris Winters

How long is the paddle?

To paddle at a leisurely pace from the Rowing Club Boathouse to the harbor and back to the Boathouse is about 5 miles, and will take most people about 2.5–3 hours paddling non-stop. Be sure to build in extra time if you plan to stop to eat along the way at one of the many riverside restaurants, or to take a mid-paddle break and stretch your legs at Pere-Marquette Park.

Paddling time from the Boathouse to the pick-up location on the Menomonee River is about 3 miles and takes roughly 1.5–2 hours. Again, be sure to account for extra time in your trip if you plan to make any stops along the way.

What happens if I miss my return/pickup time?

The Urban Ecology Center staff running the shuttle will provide you with a phone number to call if you need assistance on the day of your paddle. Anytime during your paddle you can call to switch your desired return option. If you miss the last return time, we will still pick you up, but you will be assessed a $25 special pick-up fee.

What if there's inclement weather on the day of my reservation?

If there is moderate to heavy precipitation, high winds, or temperatures lower than 60 degrees on the day of your shuttle reservation, an Urban Ecology Center staff person will call you to cancel the shuttle for the day. You will receive a full refund if the shuttle is cancelled due to weather.

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, 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.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 16:49

2016 Candlelight Walk

Our Candlelight Walk and Candlelight Walk for Kids on Saturday, December 17th, are dedicated to enjoying the quiet solace of a winter’s evening on one of the longest nights of the year.

candlelight walk 16 graphic

candlelight walk 15 DeWan graphic 2

Take a guided stroll down the luminary-lit paths of the Milwaukee Centennial Rotary Arboretum and enjoy stops along the way for readings of seasonal poetry and prose as you experience the serenity of the nighttime forest in the heart of the city. Back at the Center warm yourself by the fire as you enjoy snacks and hot cider.

Price: $5 ($10 for nonmembers)

Walks begin at 7 and continue every fifteen minutes through 9 o'clock. Registration for specific walk times is required.

Click here to register for your preferred time.

 

Our Candlelight Walk for Kids offers earlier start times, kid-friendly readings and stories, shorter routes for littler legs, and of course hot chocolate and snacks back at the Center!

candlelight walk 15 blog graphic 2

Walks begin at 4:30 and leave every fifteen minutes, with the last kids' walk leaving at 6. Registration for walk times is required.

This special evening is an Urban Ecology Center tradition. Spend it with us as we enjoy the gentleness of our longest nights and celebrate the increasing daylight still to come.

Price: Adults: $5 ($7 for nonmembers) Children: $3 ($5 for nonmembers)

 Click here to register for your preferred start time!

 

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 13:37

Walking in Washington Park

“Good morning pretty lady!” exclaimed a Neighborhood Environmental Education Project student a few weeks ago, as I passed her class walking near the lagoon. I never quite know what to expect, as I head to work each morning. Her inviting smile and her silly demeanor were a welcome surprise. I knew I was going to have a good day.

I am an educator with our ever-growing after school program and my morning walks have offered me time to reflect on my work with youth and community members.

Thursday, 19 May 2016 13:12

Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service

Want to enjoy an afternoon paddle without the hassle of staging cars and hauling equipment? Our Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service provides flexible launch and pickup options, complete gear outfitting, and the assistance of our knowledgeable staff – everything you need to have a fun, convenient excursion on the Milwaukee River!

downtown canoeing

How does it work?

Available to contributing members of the Center who have passed our free water safety course, the Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service lets you create a customized Friday or Saturday outing by selecting from our available options.

  1. First, register and reserve your desired watercraft from the available dates.
  2. Once you've registered, contact Lesley, our Community Programs Coordinator at (414) 964-8505 to schedule your launch and return times.

    Launch: All Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service excursions launch from the Milwaukee Rowing Club Boathouse (1990 E North Commerce St), and your launch time must be scheduled between 10 am and noon on the day of your reservation.

    Return: Paddle a bit or paddle a bunch – it's up to you! Tailor your outing by choosing a return time from the following three options:
    • Return to the Rowing Club Boathouse between 2 - 2:30 pm.
    • Be picked up from the public dock near Riverfront Pizzeria between 3 - 3:30 pm and returned to the Boathouse.
    • Return to the Rowing Club Boathouse between 4 - 4:30 pm.
    Learn more about which option is best for you!
  3. Arrive on the day of your reservation at your scheduled launch time and the Urban Ecology Center staff will get you geared up and assist you in launching your boat.
  4. Enjoy paddling the Milwaukee River!

What does it cost?

The Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service is $15 dollars per boat.

What's included?

  • Canoe or kayak
  • Paddles
  • PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)
  • Dock rope
  • All equipment staged and ready to launch
  • All equipment stowed upon your return
  • A ride back to the Boathouse if that option is selected
  • The assistance of an Urban Ecology Center staff person to help you with your boat, and answer any questions you might have about the route.

How long is the paddle?

From the Rowing Club Boathouse to the public dock is about 2.5 miles. Paddling this distance non-stop at a leisurely pace will take most people about 1.5 - 2 hours. But you may want to stop along the way at one of the many riverside restaurants, or take a mid-paddle break and stretch your legs at Pere-Marquette Park.

To paddle at a leisurely pace from the Boathouse to the harbor and back to the Boathouse is about 5 miles, and will take most people about 4 - 5 hours if you stop to eat, and a bit less if you don’t.

What happens if I miss my return/pickup time?

The Urban Ecology Center staff running the shuttle will give you a phone number to call if you need assistance on the day of your paddle. Anytime during your paddle you can call to switch your desired return option. If you miss the last return time, we will still pick you up, but you will be assessed a $25 special pick-up fee.

What if there's inclement weather on the day of my reservation?

If there is moderate to heavy precipitation, high winds, or temperatures lower than 60 degrees on the day of your shuttle reservation, an Urban Ecology Center staff person will call you to cancel the shuttle for the day. You will receive a full refund if the shuttle is cancelled due to weather.

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