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Displaying items by tag: Riverside Park
Friday, 26 June 2015 00:00

See For Yourself - Healing the Land

Protection and restoration of the land is an essential part of what we do. Through hands-on work, our Land Stewardship team and volunteers grow healthy native habitats in which animals and plants can thrive. These areas are also important to our environmental education programs. Plus they are a great place to explore the natural world! See for yourself how we are caring for the land.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 00:00

Take a Hike, Milwaukee!

One of my favorite things to do is be fully immersed in nature while hiking in the middle of the city. The fact that you can walk from a street full of houses into a beautiful green haven in a matter of moments is so amazing!

I love watching people’s faces their first time out hiking in one of the parks at our branches, especially those who have lived in Milwaukee all their lives but have never seen this natural side of their city. It’s great.

I’d like to invite you to take part in an urban nature hike with me!

We began our hands-on, environmental education school program serving just 12 schools in a double-wide trailer in Riverside Park. Our dream was to serve all the schools in a two-mile radius and have a vibrant, environmentally-based center connecting people with the outdoors. We definitely needed more space (and indoor plumbing!). With the help of many, many friends, we opened our Riverside Park building in September 2004. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. We look forward to the next 10 years!

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!

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