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Displaying items by tag: Washington Park
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:20

Darwin, Franklin and You

What do Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin and our summer interns have in common? They are CommunityScientists! A Community Scientist is someone who engages in the research process in a non-academic setting. People are often surprised to learn that anyone can participate in our research projects, regardless of their age, background or previous experience. All you need is a passion for the natural environment. Community Science volunteers at the Center work with bats, birds, bugs, frogs and toads, small mammals, snakes, turtles, insects, plants and more!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 13:25

Why are You Here?

I have been working here at Washington Park for three years now and I must say that they have been three of the most memorable years of my life! I've had the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people — our staff, volunteers and community members — as we continue to grow the Washington Park branch into a wonderful destination for all of Milwaukee. Each day we learn a little bit more about the park and the community. And each day we are connecting kids and families to nature. I never think of our work as a job. It is a way of life with priceless benefits measured in kindness, awareness and "aha" moments.

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.

It has been a huge year for the Young Scientists Club at Washington Park. Reflecting on it all, I can't even believe we've accomplished so much in such a short period of time! Longtime member Donald Harris did his best attempt to summarize exactly what we do in our club in a quote found later in this post. As I try to summarize it myself, I'm not even sure where to begin. What began as a way to engage drop-in kids at Washington Park has evolved into a dynamic, multi-faceted educational and recreational program that I'm proud to be a part of. I'll summarize for you a few of its many highlights over the past 12 months.

This past summer, we began a research partnership with the University of Minnesota's Driven to Discover program. The kids — with guidance from the staff — developed their own original bird research study and created a professional-quality research poster and paper. We then traveled to the University of Minnesota's insect fair, where we presented our research and won an Outstanding Project Award. Since then, our group of budding young scientists has also presented their work at our annual Community Science Research Summit, at the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative annual conference, and to a group of partnering teachers at our schools. As I write this, Donald is again presenting our work for the Hi-Mount Elementary science fair!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 09:36

Washington Park Wins MANDI Award!

This past March both our Menomonee Valley and Washington Park branches were nominated as finalists for a MANDI Award! WOW!

Fantastic! Wait, what’s a MANDI?
The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) recognize efforts of those working to ensure Milwaukee’s central city is a great place to live, learn, work and grow.

Thursday, 25 April 2013 12:48

Young Scientists Walking Across The Country

If you have visited the Washington Park Branch within the last three months, you have probably noticed the big map hanging up on the divider in the main classroom. And upon closer investigation you may have wondered what in the world our Young Scientists are doing by walking across America? Well, three months ago on Martin Luther King Day, we embarked on a grand adventure to walk across the country.

The Lagoon at Washington Park is an awesome body of water. Not only is it the habitat for several thrilling creatures, the Lagoon is also a hot spot for recreation throughout the year.  The Equipment Lending Benefit at the Urban Ecology Center can help you participate in several of these activities. You can drill through the ice with an auger to go ice fishing in the winter or catch a settling breeze while canoeing from shore to shore of the Lagoon in the summertime. If you are a member, each and every piece of equipment is available to you from the Urban Ecology Center.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 12:52

From Behind the Reception Desk

Having started my new position as the Visitor Services Assistant in November, I have been fortunate to observe the daily branch activities here in Washington Park. My conclusion... The Washington Park Urban Ecology Center fills me with happiness each day! There are so many things that fill me with joy, and I certainly had a huge smile on my face when I was asked to write this article. But nothing prompts a smile faster than the smile of another person. It’s contagious. Just ask my friends and co-workers at the Urban Ecology Center; they will confirm that I keep a smile on my face all the time. There are so many people to thank for this: members, volunteers, visitors, staff and donors; they all play a role in making Washington Park, a wonderful place to be.

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:39

Steady Change

It’s fascinating to watch the place where you work become transformed. The progress can take on many forms -- slow as molasses, steady as an Ornate Box Turtle or fast and furious. No matter at what speed you are moving, visitors inevitably come in and comment, “Wow, it looks so different!” or “You all have been doing so much work!” However, when you are caught up in the day to day, it’s sometimes hard to see the change -- “smell the roses” as it were, along your journey. It was a comment from a regular visitor that caused me to step back and really take a look at what we’ve accomplished.

Imagine walking up two flights of stairs under a decommissioned, elevated freight rail surrounded by high rises, street vendors and droves of people. As you reach the platform, you emerge into the lush greenery of a vibrant park buzzing with thousands of visitors.

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