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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Ken Leinbach
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
I biked in to work in an absolutely fabulous mood. No particular reason, just enjoying life. So I'm riding along lost in my thoughts, meditating in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way on a friend who is depressed. If he could just find his passion, I thought, or a new passion then maybe it would bring purpose to his life. There seems to be a definite connection between purpose and passion. Perhaps the meaning of life is to find one's purpose and that one finds purpose through exploring one's passions ... Hmmm. Suddenly another "P" word came to mind, presence.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Monday, 15 July 2013
The Common Green Darner (Anax junius) is a lovely migratory dragonfly that visits Wisconsin from April through September. This native invertebrate is Wisconsin's most common large dragonfly. The male has a bright bluish-green abdomen and is sexually dimorphic from the female whose abdomen ranges from brick-red to bluish gray. They have four gossamer wings, heavy thoraxes and are about the size of hummingbirds. They are extraordinary fliers; flying forward, backward, while mating and even while laying eggs! Their flight is so incredible that aeronautic scientists have studied them to better understand flight physics.
Written by Allie Rolandi
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Upon the creation of Milwaukee’s first Park Commission in 1889, among the first projects undertaken were the construction of Lake Park, River Park (today known as Riverside Park) and Newberry Boulevard, which served as a connection between the two. In an effort to bring prestige and order to these new landmarks, the Commission hired famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, to head up the project.
Written by Joel Springsteen
Tuesday, 09 July 2013
This is the first in a series featuring the natural communities of Wisconsin. A natural community is a distinct and recurring group of interacting populations of microorganisms, fungi, plants, and animals and their physical environment. Because of our unique geographic location at the crossroads of several major ecosystems and the wide variation in soil type, temperature range, and moisture availability across the state, Wisconsin has a diverse mosaic of over seventy different natural communities. Southern Mesic Forest, the first natural community we will highlight, was once the most common natural community in Milwaukee County.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 09 July 2013
Before we launch into detail about our Summer Paddling Series, a word on perspective: “Successful education has the power to make the world strange again. Without any stake in the places where we live, we walk through days in which there are trees but no tree in particular, we drive along roads that could be anywhere, never registering the mountains to the east and lake to the west that determined, in fact, exactly where that route would run. Such casual familiarity is the opposite of intimacy and attentiveness.” - environmental studies professor John Elder
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 08 July 2013
We're looking for youth ages 7-13 years old who are interested in science and nature, love learning and playing outside, and enjoy asking questions and discovering answers. The subject for our team's important project? You might recognize them as a kind of striped catepilar, but to scientists they're monarch larvae!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Friday, 05 July 2013
From the Ground Up is an effort to improve job accessibility, science education, environmental and public health, and neighborhood vitality in the Menomonee Valley. It is a story of partnership, creative solutions, and profound impact.
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Thursday, 04 July 2013
What good is an idea if it resides only in the isolation of one mind? Ideas that are shared and nurtured are those ideas that grow, become contagious, and bring about change. I believe that all ideas are valuable, even the ones that seem crazy at first. Diversity is essential for healthy, thriving, natural systems. Heterogeneity, not homogeneity, of ideas breeds innovation.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Wednesday, 03 July 2013
We are thrilled to announce that on Saturday, July 20th, Three Bridges Park will open in the Menomonee Valley! I can't wait to help you explore this 24-acre brownfield-turned-greenspace! This park marks the fourth and final piece in the "From the Ground Up" campaign, a joint effort of the Center, the Menomonee Valley Partners, the City of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin and many corporate and individual donors to revitalize the Valley and reconnect it to surrounding communities. As the land is healed, the community can become more vibrant.
Written by Erick Anderson
Tuesday, 02 July 2013
It has been a huge year for the Young Scientists Club at Washington Park. Reflecting on it all, I can't even believe we've accomplished so much in such a short period of time! Longtime member Donald Harris did his best attempt to summarize exactly what we do in our club in a quote found later in this post. As I try to summarize it myself, I'm not even sure where to begin. What began as a way to engage drop-in kids at Washington Park has evolved into a dynamic, multi-faceted educational and recreational program that I'm proud to be a part of. I'll summarize for you a few of its many highlights over the past 12 months. This past summer,…

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