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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Urban Ecology Center
Friday, 15 January 2021
In appreciation of the many ways our staff have kept our mission impact going during the pandemic, we are giving all of our staff a paid Wellness Week from January 16th-22nd. That means, with a few exceptions to maintain essential functions and security, all of our staff are taking a well-deserved week off. It takes a lot of coordination to make this happen, but it is worth the effort to give everyone time to step away from their work and take care of themselves.
Written by Danny Pirtle
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
As another year comes to a close, it is common to look back on the year that was and revisit highlights, memories, and lessons learned. I imagine that whenever we look back, 2020 will always have a giant asterisk next to it. So much about this year was different, thanks largely in part to the pandemic that continues to keep us socially distancing and working virtually as much as possible. It's easy to think of this as an entirely negative experience, and in many cases, correct to do so. But one silver lining that came from this new virtual lifestyle at the UEC was the Urban Ecology Center in my Backyard portal. As the coordinator of this effort, I feel…
Written by Ethan Bott
Monday, 14 December 2020
Back in September, the Urban Ecology Center challenged you to help document signs of fall using the free mobile phone app, iNaturalist, to record and submit wildlife and plant sightings to an international dataset. There were almost 400 observations that were submitted spanning 45 different species from September through November! New England Aster was by far the most documented species with 90 observations. Canada Goldenrod and Calico Aster were next two most documented species with the Asian Lady Beetle coming into fourth with 25 observations. Nice job to everyone documenting some sure signs of fall and participating in the Fall Phenology Challenge! Be sure to check out the results of the Fall Phenology Challenge here
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 02 December 2020
Young children don’t grow up knowing inequities, they just know the world they see around them. One child may wake up to littered streets, a concrete playground, perhaps a few trees in the median. Another child may wake up on what appears nearly to be a different planet. A lawn and garden outside their door, a playground full of trees and squirrels, and access to safe green spaces just around the corner. Each child is unknowingly receiving messages from the environment about the value of beauty, the value of nature, and even self-worth. These two contrasting worlds exist in some cases less than half a mile apart! 
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 01 December 2020
Hey everyone; Van from the Washington Park UEC here. This month, I want to share with you some music that our earth and our climate inspired. Music is one of the most popular mediums to share our ideas and emotions as a human race. This is a list of 9 of my favorite songs about the earth and its people (in no particular order).
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Friday, 20 November 2020
The flavors of Thanksgiving are always something to celebrate, even if the holiday looks a little different this year. Family recipes can carry stories from Thanksgivings past, which is especially important this year. If this year is time to make some new memories, gather up your household and try recreating some of these dishes! These dishes take holiday classics and make simple adjustments to accommodate smaller groups!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Giving Tuesday typically falls the Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. But, in this already unusual year, we thought why not flip the script on Giving Tuesday? Why not give first this year? We're asking you to join us in Giving First on Tuesday, November 24. You can provide the resources needed to continue to offer important Urban Ecology Center programming that inspires generations to build environmental curiosity, understanding, and respect. www.urbanecologycenter.org/givingfirst  
Written by Maggie Steinhauer
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Whenever I eat out, the featured salmon dish on the menu always catches my eye. And, as a picky eater when it comes to meat (it’s a texture thing), I cannot say how thankful I am that I “ventured out” and tried salmon when I did – because I have fallen in love with it. It’s almost addictive, and you can be pretty sure it’s always going to be good. This trust and intrigue has exposed me to many new flavors and combinations I wouldn’t have previously thought to be appealing.
Written by Jose Basaldua
Friday, 06 November 2020
It is that time of the year when the trees and other plants change the pigments in their leaves. The reds, yellows, and oranges (no, not the fruit) make the outdoors like a painting. On top of that, the temperatures are starting to take a dip into the chilly end of the weather pool. Don’t get me started on the snow. Let us push that back as much as possible for now. One weather phenomena that still sticks around throughout the entire year is rain.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 02 November 2020
Have you noticed that the leaves have changed into brighter colors then you remember them being in the past? If you haven’t, go take a walk outside and see what you think about the leaf color. The reason that some years the colors of leaves seem brighter than others is because of the temperature and cloud cover. For the leaves to get bright, they need several warm sunny days followed by nights where it does not freeze. If this happens continually then it will be a good year for reds and bright leaves.
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