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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Ethan Bott
Thursday, 30 July 2020
As we continue off of the success of our Yardversity event from July, we are excited to share that we will be offering a monthly version of Yardversity for the foreseeable future. This continues on Thursday night, August 20th from 8:00 - 10:00pm CST as we document the incredible night time diversity, especially those nocturnal insects that flood your porch and street lights.
Written by Chad Thomack
Monday, 27 July 2020
Summer camp is buzzing this year and the campers are making discoveries that continue to amaze me. There are so many interesting parts to nature and my first week of camp we discovered a particularly interesting insect. I present to you: the ever iconic stag beetle.
Written by Danny Pirtle
Friday, 24 July 2020
We are lucky to have a resident snake as an animal ambassador at all three branches of the Urban Ecology Center: Neile the black rat snake at Riverside Park, Andre the bull snake at Washington Park, and Sara the bull snake at Menomonee Valley. These snakes have the job of giving our visitors and students an up close look at a greatly misunderstood animal. One of the most common questions people ask when they are meeting our snakes is: “are they poisonous?” The answer is no, they are not. But also, that question is not necessarily asking what you think it is asking. Because very few snakes in the world are actually, by definition, poisonous.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 21 July 2020
We are so excited to announce that two of our staff have moved into new roles at the Urban Ecology Center. Glenna Holstein is now the Membership Manager, a new position focused on engaging our members, recruiting new members, and enhancing the membership experience at UEC. Angélica Sánchez Mora is now our Menomonee Valley Branch manager.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 20 July 2020
As the summer picks up speed, the Urban Ecology Center is bursting with energy and amazing interns. They have come to share their skills, further fulfill their career ambitions, and connect their communities to nature despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the UEC had a total of 17 interns. Five are land steward interns, 11 are summer camp interns, and 1 is a science communication intern. Altogether, the interns helped summer campers reconnect to nature and keep the organization’s mission to help the community.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 July 2020
"Become a community scientist by exploring the biodiversity in your very own backyard!" Back in May, the Urban Ecology Center hosted the Backyard Birding Blitz as a way to encourage you to go outside, stay connected to nature and to collectively compile the largest bird species list without the use of fossil fuels all virtually!. This time we are expanding this event to include all biodiversity, called “Yardversity Blitz!” Through the Yardversity Blitz, you will have the chance to become a community scientist through the exploration of the flora and fauna found in your very own backyard! This event will be completely virtual with plant and animal-themed discussions, family-friendly activities, all while you collect data outside. The Yardversity Blitz will end…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 02 July 2020
Summer is a prime time for catching and observing zipping dragonflies! In Wisconsin alone, there are 164 species of dragonfly and damselfly. Each one of these species not only has unique iridescent coloring to their thoraxes and abdomens but distinctive wings that are unique to each dragonfly. Scientists have been surveying dragonflies since the 1800s but their migratory patterns are still not fully understood and it is difficult for scientists to survey entire states without the help of the community. In recent years, the popularity of community science projects has allowed members of the community to participate in collecting data. Participating in dragonfly/damselfly surveying helps scientists study and conserve these mysterious shimmering odonates. 
Written by Jose Basaldua
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Nature is the ultimate canvas for inspiration. There are many different organisms with homes across a vast number of ecosystems found on this big rock we call Earth. Each organism and its home is different than the next. Well, for the most part. With this great biodiversity came a slew of colors, shape, size, and purpose in the environment. Every stroll I take outside adds to something I may or may not have seen before.
Written by Mike Larson
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Summer is here! Perhaps one of the most encouraging and beautiful silver lining unintended benefits of the current pandemic is that a lot more people are spending more time outside. Parks have closed roads to vehicles to encourage more pedestrian traffic, and folks are enjoying social distancing in the beautiful natural spaces our city has to offer. As a result, a lot of community members have been turning their eyes to the Urban Ecology Center. “It’s summer… when can I borrow a kayak?” The answer… soon! The Urban Ecology Center has a plan for the gradual restart of onsite work (GROW- click here to read the full article).
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 18 June 2020
Hello UEC Community, Based on COVID 19 public health indicators and our own internal preparedness, we are entering into a phase of our gradual restarting plan that allows us to offer some additional onsite programming. With rigorous cleaning practices, regular health screening, PPE, and social distancing measures in place, here are the programs we are running or preparing for:
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