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Displaying items by tag: Nature
Monday, 26 August 2013 15:24

Come Celebrate!

It’s finally ready and YOU are invited to celebrate a beautiful new public gem: The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum opens on September 28th, 2013! The journey leading up to this event has been rich with energy, dedication, challenges and vision. Glimpses of this vision began in the early 1990s when a group of neighbors imagined what it would be like to transform Riverside Park into a safer, ecologically robust outdoor classroom. They formed Friends of Riverside Park, which later evolved into the Urban Ecology Center. New park surveys and attendance records now show that within the last year there have been over 125,000 visits from students, families, adults and neighbors to the 15 acres of Riverside Park. The arboretum adds 25 acres to the existing park. Come celebrate our new 40 acre outdoor classroom!

Thursday, 04 July 2013 08:32

Interest Groups: What is Your Crazy Idea?

What good is an idea if it resides only in the isolation of one mind? Ideas that are shared and nurtured are those ideas that grow, become contagious, and bring about change. I believe that all ideas are valuable, even the ones that seem crazy at first. Diversity is essential for healthy, thriving, natural systems. Heterogeneity, not homogeneity, of ideas breeds innovation.

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 16:05

Three Bridges Park Grand Opening!

We are thrilled to announce that on Saturday, July 20th, Three Bridges Park will open in the Menomonee Valley! I can't wait to help you explore this 24-acre brownfield-turned-greenspace!

This park marks the fourth and final piece in the "From the Ground Up" campaign, a joint effort of the Center, the Menomonee Valley Partners, the City of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin and many corporate and individual donors to revitalize the Valley and reconnect it to surrounding communities. As the land is healed, the community can become more vibrant.

With the addition of 25 acres of land along the Milwaukee River and Oak Leaf Trail to the existing 15 acres of restored natural lands of Riverside Park, we are gearing up for adventures and exploration of our new 40-acre Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. You are invited to join in the fun through our new volunteer docent program. This training will prepare you to lead other nature and outdoor enthusiasts in learning about the Arboretum.

Sunday, 01 September 2013 13:24

MUL8ME

If I had a car this would be the personalized license plate for me. It is perfect! If more people would only emulate me, the world would be a much better place don't you think? Am I being arrogant? Sure. Pompous? You bet. Conceited? Not in the slightest. Supercilious? Maybe . . . need to look that one up. But am I right? Absolutely!

Just to be clear, in case you are taking me seriously the last thing I really want is the world to truly emulate me. I'm as messed up a the best of us — just ask my family or my therapist. It would, however, be nice if a few more people chose to compost. Because when it comes to making dirt I am definitely emulatable (take that, spell check!)

Monday, 29 April 2013 09:42

Impact of Urban Nature

When we started this project we now affectionately call the Urban Ecology Center, we had a dream, a concept for implementation and a process to get us there. Our expectations for success have been significantly exceeded – never in our wildest dreams did we expect to have three vibrant environmental community centers up and running so soon from our beginnings in a trailer parked in Riverside Park. But are we really having the impacts we set out to accomplish? Are students really learning? Are our parks, that we claim are now safe, really being used? Is providing nature in the city and exposing people to it really making a difference? And how do we actually know?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 12:52

Earthstravaganza!

This year the Urban Ecology Center is excited to host the 25th Anniversary Earth Poets and Musicians Earthstravaganza Event on April 26th from 7-10 PM at our Riverside Park Branch. Come spend an evening listening to eco-friendly poetry and music put on by over two dozen songwriters and poets this Arbor Day.

The following is a special sneak preview of poems and lyrics featuring the Earth Poets themselves.

Friday, 22 March 2013 10:49

Native Plant: Eastern Skunk Cabbage

What native Wisconsin plant is the first to bloom in the spring, generates its own heat capable of thawing frozen soil and melting snow, and produces flowers before leaves; flowers that emit a smell of rotting flesh?

Skunk cabbage! 

Not a true cabbage, skunk cabbage is a member of a mostly tropical family of plants, the Arum family or Araceae. Other well known members of the Arum family include calla lilies, philodendrons, taros (elephant ears), as well as other native plants like Green Dragon and Jack-in-the-pulpit. Skunk cabbage gets its name from the pungent skunk-like odor released when any part of the plant is broken or damaged and from its large leaves which grow in a rosette somewhat like a cabbage.

Monday, 25 February 2013 15:55

Every Kid Belongs in Summer Camp

Eight year old Sammy has just found a soft-shelled turtle along the Milwaukee River. It is visible only because it was startled when the group of summer campers came just close enough to this very well-camouflaged Riverside Park resident for it to make a run for the more protective waters.

Sammy calls to his new friend, John, saying “Look at this turtle. What a weird nose!” The two excitedly watch as the turtle looks back for a moment then dives into the river. They giggle a little as the carapace disappears under the surface of the water.

Ok, I’ll admit it. When Pieter Godfrey discussed the idea of converting the land he wished to donate into a unique ecosystem of trees … he and I had only a vague notion of what exactly an arboretum was. My instinct in calling it an Arboretum instead of a park was less biologic and more practical - a marketing tool. The name had the panache to attract attention and hopefully the support needed for the ambitious project of tearing down an old factory and reclaiming the worn industrial land into public green space. When the marketing plan started to work, and support started to pour in, it became evident that understanding the term Arboretum was important.

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Early Morning Birdwalks (Menomonee Valley)

Menomonee Valley

Tuesday, December 12th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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ROOT - Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Tuesday, December 12th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

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