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Displaying items by tag: Menomonee Valley
Thursday, 30 June 2016 12:23

CRIKT and You

It is the season of showy butterflies, buzzing cicadas, crackling grass hopper wings and CRIKT research. Nope, that is not a typo. CRIKT stands for “Citizens Researching Invertebrate Kritters Together” and this research team at the Urban Ecology Center is leading the nation in its approach to field ecological research. “Invertebrate Kritters” refers to the vast array of animals found in the insect, spider and mite categories. Because invertebrates impact people in a variety of ways: pollinating crops, decimating crops and invoking some of our greatest fears or senses of awe, they have been studied quite a bit over the years. So what sets CRIKT apart? It is WHO is involved and WHERE they work.

It’s time to explore! Our Urban Adventures programs will have you paddling, pedaling and climbing all summer long. Get into nature, there’s so much life!
Thanks to your support, kids and adults in the city can canoe, bike or climb — often for the first time. What a great way to be introduced to nature!

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 16:51

¡Únese a la conversación!

Varias veces a la semana, escucho nuevas ideas de miembros del Centro, visitantes, y de jóvenes científicos. Cada persona que participa en el Urban Ecology Center tiene experiencias, conocimiento e ideas que compartir, y una de las partes favoritas de mi trabajo es tener la oportunidad de escuchar las ideas de nuestra comunidad.

Como pueden imaginarse unos de mis eventos preferidos son los Foros Comunitarios. Los cuales son reuniones que están abiertas al público, donde la intención es brindar la oportunidad a toda la comunidad de compartir sus opiniones e ideas, y para que también nuestros empleados puedan conectar más con la comunidad y conocer sus intereses.

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 13:22

Join the Conversation!

Several times a week, I get to hear new ideas — from members, visitors or Young Scientists. Each person who participates at the Urban Ecology Center has experiences, knowledge and ideas to share, and one of my favorite parts of my job is getting the chance to hear the ideas from our community.

As you can imagine, some of my favorite events at the Center are our Community Forums—meetings that are open to the public, whose intent is to give our whole community the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas, and for our staff to have the chance to connect with community members and listen to these opinions and ideas.

Baby showers and birthday parties and weddings – oh my! When the education classes wrap up and our public programs are done, the second life of our classrooms and branches emerges. Retirement parties, memorial celebrations, bridal showers, company retreats and more! Our spaces get used all over again – a repurposing of space if you will – with our facility rental program.

As our art exhibits enter their tenth year, Sally Duback, one of the founding members of our arts committee offers this reflection about the beginning and growth of the program.

Ten years ago, UEC board member Danni Gendelman convinced the board that it would be a good idea to host nature-related art exhibitions in the community room. In order to make this happen, she pulled together a small committee of Milwaukee area artists/arts professionals Barbara Manger, Sally Duback and Leon Travanti; and discussions began among them about how this could work.

It was the best “wild ice” for skating that I have found in years. A vast expanse of smooth-as-glass clear ice made not by a Zamboni, but by Mother Nature herself. And perhaps the biggest surprise of all? This “secret gem” wasn’t some hidden lake up state, but it was right here, in the shadow of the US Bank building downtown. I’ve been here over 20 years now and I still keep finding the unexpected. This is why I LOVE living in Milwaukee.

Last summer the Urban Ecology Center held its first Engineering for Kids Summer Camp for third and fourth graders. The entire experience at this camp completely exceeded my expectations. The campers built a raft with their own hands out of recycled wood, inner tubes, ropes and milk jugs and on their last day of camp they embarked on a big adventure - gliding their raft down the Menomonee River.

I felt intimately connected to this project as it reminded me of my childhood. My friends and I used to build rafts with driftwood in the Alagón River Reservoir, Spain. It was a passion I could share with my campers.

Our habitat restoration efforts and research projects really go hand-in-hand. As we restore the land, we discover more and more mammals, birds, insects and amphibians using our parks. Our studies also help to determine the number of native plant species we’ve added that have “taken root” and are continuing to grow. Here are just a few highlights you can find.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 00:00

Art in the Menomonee Valley

Sue Lawton: The Forgotten Invasion: Artifacts
December 2017 - February 2018
Opening reception: Thursday December 14th 2017, | 5 - 7 pm

The artifacts and images in this installation tell the story of time-traveling refugees from a distant moon as they struggle to adapt to their new homes and lives. Using found objects, ink on paper and altered mirrors, along with natural samples of lichen and moss, the works reexamine the classic "alien invasion" story and it's misguided parallels and comparisons in discussions of invasive species and of human migration. They are based on The Forgotten Invasion; a series of science fiction artist books that draw on themes of invasion and reclamation, collective amnesia, and cultural abandonment.

Art by Sue Lawton
Sue Lawton
Composite Organisms


SWAN Day MKE 2018: “Women and Nature: Nourishing Our Roots"
March - May 2018
Opening reception: Saturday March 24th 2018 | 11am - 3 pm

Artists from all over Milwaukee celebrate the power and diversity of women’s creativity at SWAN Day MKE 2018 (Support Women Artists Now), an exhibition that is part of the International 11th Annual Support Women Artists Now Day!

This exhibit features over one-hundred women and woman-identified artists of ALL ages, ALL disciplines and ALL levels of artistic experience residing in Milwaukee and surrounding area that were invited to be part of an inclusive, informal, non-juried show.

The 2018 theme is “Women and Nature: Nourishing Our Roots.” For this unique show, artists were asked to think about the following prompts & make a piece that navigates one or all thoughts, practices places or concepts:

• Reflect on how and where the natural world plays a role in influencing your physical/emotional creative reserves, subject matter, concepts, visualizations,meditations or use of materials (ie eco-friendly/recycled/found object/organic matter/installation).

• What environments or elements provide a place of inspiration and/or perspiration so you are fueled physically, mentally and/or spiritually to make your best work?

• Does nourishment come from environmental activism and learning, or perhaps you find flow investigating the macro-level patterns in science?

• Do you connect with nature in the everyday/family traditions of cooking food, using healing herbal remedies and practicing your faith, or do you expand beyond this realm and wonder about the cosmos?

SWAN Day Predators digital collage by Laur Wiech Design

Laur Wiech Design
Predators Digital Collage


Kathleen Walters: Human <> Nature
June - August 2018

From the artist: My work is reflective of the synergistic connections I see between man and nature. I am interested in the ever-widening concentric circles of connectedness between all things on earth and beyond. My investigations have brought me to a realization of the commonality of many systems in nature and the manmade world and the similarity of mythologies and metaphors surrounding both realms. The maps that are part of much of my collage work have become the symbol for our human need to control and contain nature. (A theme that seems to have a louder voice in the present culture.) The messages that nature is sending into the universe are being silenced by ignorance and fear and threatening the existence of human life on earth. The intent of my work is to bring a moment of reflection to the fabric of nature of which humans are a part.

Water the Breath of Gaia.JPG vertical

Water the Breath of Gaia


Changing Our World Through Art: The Work of Escuela Verde's Youth Artivists
September – November 2018

In Escuela Verde's Art Club, we use our artistic skills and voices to work for change in our community. The work in this show speaks out about issues ranging from climate change and environmental racism to immigration reform and gender inequality.

IMG 9679

Escuela Verde's Art Club

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