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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Ken Leinbach
Friday, 14 June 2019
Imagine a world where every child can get outside and explore nature near their home every day of every season of every year of their life. Now imagine a world where every adult can share and guide that child as a mentor in their adventure, building curiosity, understanding, and respect for the natural world. Imagine a place where folks of all ages can join together in this endeavor – at a neighborhood ecology and community center in a nearby park; a center whose purpose is to facilitate that child-adult interaction, to heal the land, to promote outdoor play, and to educate and inspire people of all ages to understand and value nature as motivation for positive change. In a world…
Written by Julee Mitchell
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Earlier this month the Urban  Ecology Center staff had the opportunity to tour the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility. We had a behind the scenes look at what happens to our wastewater and learned some interesting facts along the way.
Written by Maggie Steinhauer
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Perhaps you remember dancing through the cool grass on a summer night, eyes carefully fixed on small, fleeting glimpses of light as they traveled silently through the air. You’d reach out and quickly grab into the darkness, and, if you were lucky, the spaces between your fingers would illuminate a bright green – leaving your face glowing with wonder. Many people have a joy of catching fireflies and watching them dazzle the night air. It can truly be a breathtaking experience.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 04 June 2019
Managing inventory for our gift shop is always a tricky game. Sometimes we order too little and run out of items that people really want. Sometimes we order too much and have inventory sitting on the shelf for too long. That’s why we’re trying a new approach to selling UEC merchandise and building in a discount for YOU!
Written by Guest Blogger
Wednesday, 29 May 2019
The world is at a tipping point with plastic pollution. Several countries are stepping up to make drastic changes and to ban single-use plastic in the wake of political and public pressure to wean us off this toxic convenience product. The United States is lagging behind, though many people are becoming aware of the problem and some states are looking at regulating plastics. The problems are our current approaches to tackling plastic pollution focus on small-impact solutions, which are well-intentioned and personally educative but are being quickly absorbed and morphed by the growth of global plastics production.
Written by Mike Larson
Wednesday, 29 May 2019
Deep down, we share an intrinsic desire to be connected to a place. The most obvious of these connections is social; the human need to belong to a community. At the Urban Ecology Center, we pride ourselves on helping people connect to the ecology of a place, teaching others about the interconnections between the rivers, lakes, and ecosystems around which our human society thrives, hoping to foster an ethos of mutual benefit between ourselves and the land. However, a third, historical connection to a place exists as well. These connections are not always obvious, but the decisions our ancestors made certainly have an effect on us as they impacted the land and society in which we live.
Written by Julee Mitchell
Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Is junk mail overcrowding your mailbox? If so, you’re not alone; the Environmental Protection Agency reports Americans as a whole receive close to five million tons of junk mail every year and according to the US Postal Service, 59% of all mail delivered is advertising mail, and only about half of it ever gets read. That equates to a lot of wasted paper and even when it can be recycled it still takes a lot of resources to print it in the first place. The Urban Ecology Center receives a lot of junk mail too and here’s how we’re taking steps to (hopefully) get rid of it permanently!
Written by MaryBeth Kressin
Tuesday, 30 April 2019
It is the end of April. That time again to gather on the 2nd floor of Riverside Park – surrounded and absorbed in words words words and thoughts on nature and Oak trees not getting cut down, plastics and songs. The Earth Poets in their 32nd year came together on April 19th to celebrate the earth and our natural environment while sharing words they have written and songs they created. Like minded and like-energy, together for a night in the glow of the building.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 22 April 2019
We are pleased to announce the hiring of Rachel Nielsen to the role of Director of Finance and Operations! “In addition to teaching through the Peace Corps and at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Rachel will bring years of finance and operations experience from the corporate world,” said Ken Leinbach, Executive Director at the Urban Ecology Center. “We are excited to bring her broad experience and expertise to our team.” Nielsen comes to the Urban Ecology Center from Rockwell Automation where she was the Global Finance Manager, Low Voltage Motor Control Center Business. Throughout her career, Nielsen has held finance and operations positions at Rockwell and Best Buy. “The Urban Ecology Center has such a strong reputation within the…
Written by Regina Miller
Tuesday, 09 April 2019
It was time to go pick up the kids for another fun field trip so I headed over to the nearby school in one of our buses. Once at school I waited a few minutes for the class and soon the line of little ones came walking down the hall. The group of K5 children was eager to see me and very excited about the field trip they were going on. I asked them if they knew what we were going to be learning about that day and one child eagerly responded with, “Habitats!” I told the group that we were indeed going to be learning about habitats and animal homes and then we headed to the bus to begin…
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