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Displaying items by tag: Neighborhood Environmental Education Project
Sunday, 27 October 2013 07:53

Annual Meeting is November 20th!

Join us on November 20, 2013 for our Volunteer Appreciation Party and Annual Meeting, an evening of food and fun as we celebrate our year, share our future plans and thank our wonderful volunteers for the tremendous work they do. Among those volunteers being recognized are members of the Urban Ecology Center Board of Directors. We thank them for the vision and leadership they provide.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 08:26

A Day of Discovery

There are moments in a naturalist’s career that are magical. You feel like you are in a famous science documentary. The narrator in your head starts to say, “That’s when he discovered the most amazing...” but is cut off by the children surrounding you, giggling with excitement. As you snap back to reality, you think about just how lucky you are to be able to share your passion with these future environmental scientists. I had one of these moments during a new summer camp called “Animal Extravaganza.”

The children gathered in the Community Science room after a full morning of learning about mammals and for some well needed lunch. Now it was time to take our studies out into Riverside Park.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 08:25

Wow! What a Year!

Autumn is when nature provides us with a reminder of change: leaves become vibrant, the sun sets early and morning frost is on windows. It is also the season when we at the Urban Ecology Center reflect on our year and the changes we made as an organization. Our fiscal year begins in September in order to include an entire school year, so fall is the time when we’re getting ready for a “new year.”

Thursday, 30 May 2013 08:11

Convergent Evolution!

"Who would have thought just a decade ago, when we were still in our double-wide trailer, that our "Milwaukee Idea" of solving a social problem in a park with kids' education and the magical connection to nature would have the kind of national impact we are experiencing today? I certainly never did, but I am humbled and proud to represent Milwaukee and our simple yet profound idea. And isn't it cool that this idea evolved here in a Midwest industrial town? This is not Portland, Oregon, Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco, Boston or New York. Somehow this adds credibility to our story."

The Urban Ecology Center's Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) is wrapping up it's 13th school year! And our first year at our Menomonee Valley branch. That's 13 years of kids connecting with frogs, birds, turtles, the land, science and each other.

 

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?

Monday, 18 February 2013 17:32

Sustainable Solutions

Moments before 7am on a cold Tuesday morning, Jaimie Cloud, an education for sustainability expert from New York, and I dashed up the steps of Carmen High School. We were greeted by an enthusiastic math teacher and student and guided to the classroom. There, very professional looking students anxiously prepared to share their projects with us. These students spent the previous three weeks learning about sustainability: economic, ecological and equitable understandings of the world around them. They were charged with researching, analyzing and visualizing a project that improved the sustainability of their school.

It was a muddy day in the woods. The snow that had piled up all winter was melting, making it a perfect day to study the tracks that animals had left behind in the mud. One particularly excited 2nd grader, Kayana, was anxious to find any track she could. As she ran off the trail in search of more signs that animals had made, I asked her to come back to the group. Clearly disappointed that I had stopped her investigation, she yelled back “But I’m in the woods- I’m s’posed to explore!”

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 00:09

It’s All About Magnetism

No matter how we dropped it on the cup of water, the needle kept pointing north. “Isn’t it awesome? Would you have imagined that we would be able to create a handmade compass by magnetizing a simple sewing needle?” I needed no other evaluation but the students’ amazed faces to realize that our class was pointing in the right direction, too.

Had I not learned about electricity and magnetism in a fun and interactive way as a child, I would not have been so successful with that class.

Thursday, 01 November 2012 16:59

Starting Fresh

It is my first autumn as an educator with the Neighborhood Environmental Education Program at Washington Park, and I’m thrilled to be able to start a full year with my students. One of my first trips this school year was with a four-year-old kindergarten class from the MPS charter school Hawley Environmental.

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