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Displaying items by tag: Membership
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00

A Story of Becoming a #UECmember!

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Jozlynne Zbichorski (pronounced Spee-or-ski), learned about the Urban Ecology Center several years ago. Both of her parents are public school teachers at Milwaukee Public Schools (Jozlynne is also going to UW-Milwaukee for a teaching certification) and she had lived next to Riverside Park for several years. However, she had never considered becoming a member of the Center until this summer when she and her boyfriend tried to plan a kayak trip down the Milwaukee River.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:00

Our Stories

“Ken, in addition to our gift for your early childhood program, we are also interested in giving you a little extra to write a book. We think that the story of the Urban Ecology Center is an inspirational one that needs to be told.”

Wow! How cool is that? This remarkable, unsolicited gift came last year from a foundation that had just started their support. However, it has not been until very recently that we have actually figured out how to carve out the necessary time to put a book together. I mean, really, how do you even start?

Well, in typical Urban Ecology Center fashion we’d like to start with you!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:41

The Power of the Outdoors

We believe in the power of the outdoors. We believe that all work and no play makes us all a little dull and that the antidote for the monotony of routine is to go outside. We believe that paddling, biking, fishing, camping, hiking and/or playing outside are essential elements of a healthy lifestyle. We believe that nature is everywhere- even in the city- and that adventure can literally be found right in your backyard. We believe that fun doesn’t have to be expensive or accessible to only a few lucky people. We believe it so much that we can taste it as fresh as the spring air.  We can’t wait to get out of the office, home or car to stretch our legs. Are you with us? Then do we have a deal for you!

Fifteen years ago a movie cost you on average $4.50 (now $8.20), a gallon of gas cost $1.06 (now $3.75), a dozen eggs went for $1.09 (now $2.50) and an Urban Ecology Center membership cost $25 (still $25). What? The crazy thing is that while our membership rates remained the same for 15 years, our offerings increased by at least a factor of ten if not a hundred! 15 years ago we had only one center — a single, double-wide trailer in the then run-down Riverside Park. Our lending program consisted of just a few canoes and our program offerings, while always of the highest quality, represented just a fraction of the number of what we can offer now.

On a bright, cheery Tuesday morning, I met Dan, Sherri, Josiah, and Tirzah Jibson at the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley Branch. Immediately, I saw a glimpse of each family member’s unique personality through their independent engagement with other Center visitors. Dan sat in a circle with the morning Bird Walk group, listening carefully while sharing a huge smile and kind laugh. Sherri chatted and sipped hot chocolate with another birder and Center member, Carolyn Vargo. Josiah and Tirzah each played with Carolyn’s young grandchildren, who clearly loved the individual attention they were receiving from the older Jibson kids. Even though these interactions were separate, a shared glow of patience, grace, and serenity emanated from each of the Jibsons that clearly united them as family.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 09:42

Go Outside and Play: Camp

When I was in college, I took a course on physical geography as part of my general education requirements. Our course textbook covered various unique and interesting natural areas in the United States ranging from the canyon lands of Utah to the limestone caves of Kentucky, and we learned about the specific geographic confluences that formed these natural wonders. One day my classmates and I were bemused to find that we were studying glacial features in the exotic locale of Southeastern Wisconsin. Having lived in the area most of my life, I never really thought of kettles, eskers, moraines, and drumlins as being anything particularly special, but apparently, these features that formed as giant sheets of ice retreated across the landscape are relatively rare in the topography of the world, and we're lucky to have them.

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