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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
As Environmental Educator Regina Miller was taking a quiet morning walk in a local park recently, she looked around and most of the forest world looked brown and gray. The colors of winter are still all around even though it is spring. Soon, however, Regina began to see peeks of bright green here and there on the forest floor and it made me smile.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
On dreary days it's good to know that some flowers are already peeking up from out of the ground. Below are a few of Milwaukee's early bloomers. Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) Found by Drew Vandegrift, Restoration Assistant You will have to be on your hands and knees to spot this early bloomer. The pasqueflower is one of Milwaukee’s earliest native blooming plants. The plant is fuzzy like a peach and no more than a few inches tall right now. Consider yourself lucky if you spot a flower, these plants take 5+ years to finally bloom. Please only take photos, the pasqueflower you find may be 50 years old! Photo of Pasqueflowers before bloom, as seen March 25, 2020, and the same plant five…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
Check out a find along the Menomonee River spotted by UEC Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan. At least 3 inches long, Brynne found a cocoon of a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest moth in North America!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 06 April 2020
It's spring cleaning time! Time to put harsh chemicals into the air and water as we clean the house! Wait, that sounds a bit counterintuitive. Putting harsh chemicals in the air to clean the house? Maybe we should try something new. We asked our staff to give us some of their favorite recipes for homemade household supplies. These options are better for the environment. The ingredients are cheaper and can be bought in large quantities, making these homemade concoctions better for your budget as well.
Written by Guest Blogger
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
“You wanna see my fish?” Eighteen participants sat in a circle of camp chairs looking at Ken, then at the small girl with the bucket. She was about five years old and on a mission. Ken had not noticed her as she walked toward the circle. He continued to focus on the session-topic of volunteerism at the Urban Ecology Center. The group had gathered as part of a multi-day introduction to the model — connecting people in cities to nature and each other — pioneered in Milwaukee. The UEC staff was bringing their expertise as an urban environmental education and community center to people from cities across the U.S. and other countries.
Written by Ethan Bott
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
We know COVID-19 is affecting everyone in Milwaukee County in many different and difficult ways. We are now spending a lot of time indoors living, working, and teaching as we care for ourselves and one another through physical distancing. However we also know that nature has incredible healing and calming powers that we want you to take advantage of during this stressful time. Whether that is in your backyard, in a park, or even through your window, we hope you have the chance to interact with the outdoors. Before you head outside, please abide by all health and social distancing recommendations by the CDC as well as by local health officials as they can change with every passing day. Please…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
As we all practice remaining “safer at home,” we are grateful for the many beautiful Milwaukee County Parks and other green spaces. Going outside for walks, hikes, bike rides, bird watching, and other activities can be done while using appropriate social distancing measures. We encourage you to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding us and the wonder of this transitional season. Here are some excellent recommendations from our staff on local, accessible natural areas where you can enjoy nature right now:
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 30 March 2020
Looking for some fun, kid-friendly nature-related activities this spring? We're here to help! The activities below can be adapted for kids of all ages and will work well while self distancing. Many thanks to Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan for this list.
Written by Maggie Steinhauer
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Met with the blaring calls of the Red-winged Blackbirds and joyful chatter of Robins when stepping outside, you know it’s springtime in Wisconsin. These sounds create a feeling of warmth and excitement for the summer months that are just around the corner, and are a sure sign of the changing seasons. There are, though, harbingers of spring that aren’t so vociferous. In fact, two species in particular are rather silent in their seasonal debut, but just as telling. The Mourning Cloak butterfly and the Butler’s Gartersnake are two species that rise from their winter hibernation rather than migrating back into Wisconsin.
Written by Chad Thomack
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
We're encouraging our staff to share the natural discoveries they've found on their walks. Come along on a "virtual nature walk" with our Environmental Educator Chad Thomack, and hear stories about his recent discoveries in nature!
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