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Displaying items by tag: Riverside Park
Thursday, 30 April 2015 00:00

A Hawk, a Chipmunk and So Much More

“Look! Up there, high in the tree, perched on that branch,” an environmental educator directed his class of students to where a Cooper’s Hawk sat in a tree in Riverside Park.

Just moments before they spotted the hawk, a chipmunk had darted across the path in front of them. Out hunting for signs of spring, the class was thrilled at the sighting because chipmunks are hibernators and only awaken from their deep slumber when the weather warms just enough – a true sign of spring!

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Connecting Through Stories

As a child I loved visiting other people’s houses, because visiting a different house seemed like an adventure. Maybe they would have a secret passageway. Maybe they would have a tree house or maybe a fireman’s pole. Maybe they would have a pony, or maybe they had a magic key that I would find! The possibilities seemed as endless as my imagination. I could make myself into a character of a new story with each new setting.

The awareness of these memories are at the front of mind when my nieces come to visit. I have two nieces, Macy and Ella: ages five and two, respectively. I think our house still seems like uncharted territory to them, where mystery and magic can still be discovered and I am happy to play along.

Last time they visited they walked in the door, took off their coats, and Macy said, “Can we go play on your bed? We can pretend you have a magic bed!” Why, of course! As we huddled under the blankets they said, “now you tell us stories.” So, I made up a story about a magic pond with golden water and a pink frog. Admittedly it was not my best story, yet they were captivated.

Stories, what remarkable things they are; they entertain us, they transform us, they transport us and they connect us. They have been woven into the fabric of history and of our lives. Children ask for stories and seek out a good storyteller while most adults happen upon them as a pleasant interruption in their busy lives.

Regardless of age or how we hear them, experiencing a good story is like a tasty treat to enjoy and savor and get lost in for a time. We would like to fill the Center with stories from the Urban Ecology Center community, so this year we are trying something new: a storytelling event. You are our community and family who have come through our doors for ten years and through the park for many more. You are the people who have helped to create the Center’s sense of place. You are the characters of the stories that take place at the Center and in the park and you have stories to tell. We are calling teen and adult storytellers (practiced and

novice) and story listeners to come together for an evening to connect through stories.

So whether you would like to tell stories or listen to stories, please join us on March 19th. For more information about the event and how to submit a story, visit urbanecologycenter.org/storytelling.

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 00:00

Reclaiming Riverland

While some activities outdoors are winding down (at least until there is enough snow to get out on skis or snowshoes), activity has increased on the land situated in the midst of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. If your plans bring you to the Arboretum this winter (it’s a great place for a walk in any season!), you will see a demolition project underway. This work began in December and will extend until March 2015.

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

Snow and Go!

Get notified about spontaneous winter adventures! Sign up for our “Snow and Go" group!

Knowing when Wisconsin’s snow will fall is difficult to determine, but having fun in that snow is not! When snow conditions are too perfect to stay indoors, you will receive an email notifying you of a spontaneous winter recreation program — sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, making snow angels — whatever the snow calls for!

Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00

The Greatest Gift

Hi, it’s me, Ken! I’m thinking about what to give to the special people in my life during this giving season. Should I give them an Urban Ecology Center gift membership? A Center t-shirt? Or maybe a day outdoors in the snow? Hmm, perhaps I should ask around. "What does the fox say?"

Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00

From Fear to Understanding

I love fall! We begin a new school year with excited students, perfect sunny days and beautiful changing leaves. Fall is also when I get to teach a class that brings kids into the water to look for macroinvertebrates. It’s one of my favorite classes to teach.

The program begins with the students tucking in their shirts and climbing into waders to explore the Milwaukee River. We hand them kick nets and bins to hold the benthic invertebrates they find. As we head to the river, there is nervous excitement. It is fun to watch the first groups get their bearings in the water.

On July 30th, Jennifer Callaghan, the Center’s Research & Community Science Coordinator, returned to the office with visual evidence of an extremely rare species in Riverside Park! One of the large cottonwoods along the Milwaukee River (just north of the Riverside Park canoe launch) was clearly chewed on by an American Beaver! The images at right show the extent of chew on August 13th and then again a little over a month later on September 18th. While Castor canadensis is common in the Great Lakes basin, they are not often seen in heavily urbanized areas. After almost 8 years of wildlife camera surveys, this is the first time we’ve ever photographically documented a beaver!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:00

Become a Super Fixer at Riverside Park

Do you like DIY projects? Are you a seasoned mechanic or carpenter looking for a new challenge? Are you lacking skills but big on enthusiasm? Whether expert or novice, we have a new opportunity for you! 

This fall, we are starting a regularly scheduled volunteer opportunity at our Riverside Park branch called Fixin’ Facilities. It is a great way to hone your skills or learn new ones as you work with others and help the Center.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

See for Yourself - Interns

The Urban Ecology Center’s Summer Internship progran is a dynamic employment opportunity for adults. It’s a win-win; The Center gains valuable help during our busiest months and Interns get a summer they’ll never forget!

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!

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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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