Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Matt Flower
Monday, 23 October 2023
I had the pleasure of joining the Galápagos and Mindo Ecuador Eco-Travel trip through the Urban Ecology Center in April of 2023. For me personally, it was a trip of a lifetime.  For me professionally, it was a profound experience filled with fascinating natural wonders. Considering this trip includes up-close experiences with iconic flora, fauna, geology, and natural history of the most unique archipelago on the planet, it felt like a bucket list no-brainer and the culmination of a 17yr career as an environmental educator at the UEC. 
Written by Michelle Milford
Monday, 16 October 2023
When I started at the UEC, I realized fairly quickly there was going to be a steep learning curve.  Not in the duties of my role. Those were well-defined.  Not when to speak up in meetings. All opinions are valued right from the beginning. Not in navigating a new work culture. The UEC is rooted in compassion and kindness.  What I had to learn was the jargon, the slang, the lingo. And all the acronyms - we love an acronym here. Some examples include: 
Written by Michelle Milford
Monday, 25 September 2023
Ten years ago, on September 28, 2013, the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum opened. Totaling 40 acres of restored land, the arboretum winds along the Milwaukee River and Oak Leaf trail expanding into Riverside Park. With a generous lead gift from Milwaukee Rotarians, the dedication of partner organizations, and the support of our community, the last un-damned, but unfortunately degraded, stretch of the Milwaukee River was transformed into a thriving urban nature space loved by all Milwaukeans. 
Written by Clare Eigenbrode
Monday, 28 August 2023
This summer, I’ve had the honor not only of joining the Urban Ecology Center’s Research and Community Science (RCS) Department as a Science Communication Intern, but also of working alongside my fellow RCS intern, Cameron Brown, while we show new volunteers how to identify an indigo bunting call or a monarch butterfly egg, or when I tag along to help him feed the UEC’s resident snakes and turtles.
Written by Clare Eigenbrode
Thursday, 17 August 2023
The first time LaShaun Taylor brought her son and granddaughter to a Fishing Club event at the Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park branch, her son, who is six, was crestfallen when the outing ended before he was able to catch a fish. That was all forgotten after the family’s second visit when he succeeded in catching and releasing five fish in one afternoon.
Written by Guest Blogger
Wednesday, 16 August 2023
10 years ago during Doors Open Milwaukee, my five kids and I happened upon this unusual place in the Silver City District’s Menomonee Valley and were a bit confused by what we found.  While we thought the building was beautiful and the people kind, we didn’t quite understand how it all worked. 
Written by Clare Eigenbrode
Monday, 07 August 2023
Lindsey Bereckis, a graduate student in Environmental Conservation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is partnering with the Urban Ecology Center this summer to map species richness and biodiversity in the areas surrounding each of our three branches. With mentorship from our Research and Community Science department’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Field Data Coordinator, Amanda Tokuyama, Lindsey has been using a software program called ArcGIS to geospatially visualize data that were collected by community scientists between 2019 and 2023. Lindsey is also comparing data regarding race and median income with biodiversity data for each of the surrounding areas.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 05 July 2023
When I began working at the Urban Ecology Center this summer, I knew spending time in nature made me happy. What I did not expect was how energized I felt after my morning commute through the Oak Leaf Trail, or the sustained focus I had after taking my lunch break outdoors. Was it just in my head, or was this time in nature improving my mental health? 
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 15 June 2023
It is with deep gratitude, that we bid farewell to our Forester Caitlin Reinartz. Caitlin's creative and approachable teaching style and leadership will be deeply missed by our staff, volunteers, and community members. Her unwavering passion and positive energy have been a constant source of inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of working with her. Caitlin's journey with the Urban Ecology Center began over 14 years ago when she joined as a Summer Intern. She soon after became our Bookkeeper. Although she cherished her time at UEC, she recognized that her true calling lay in the great outdoors.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 01 June 2023
Have you ever found yourself engaging in wishcycling? Wishcycling occurs when we toss an item into the recycling bin, hoping it will magically be recycled, even without proper confirmation of its recyclability. While this act may temporarily ease our guilt, it can actually have adverse effects. Wishcycling introduces non-recyclable materials into the collected recyclable materials, leading to contamination and increased costs of the recycling process. In this blog post, we explore the concept of wishcycling, its consequences, and a UEC's participation in one of Terracycle's recycling programs.
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