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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Thursday, 10 January 2013
The Coyote (Canis latrans) is a handsome mammal native to Wisconsin. It has a German sheperd-like appearance, with a yellowish coat and whitish throat and belly. Its back has a darker lateral stripe which extends all the way down to the tail's tip. Proportionally, the coyote's ears are much larger than the similar looking wolf. It is much smaller in size however, weighing between 40 - 100 pounds less.  
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Tuesday, 08 January 2013
One species of tree being planted as a part of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum project is the eastern redcedar or Juniperus virginiana.  Redcedar is a beautiful coniferous evergreen tree with reddish, vertically fissured bark, interesting awl-and-scale shaped leaves and bluish berry-like cones.  It is very important for many different types of wildlife.
Written by John Suhar
Wednesday, 02 January 2013
Last winter, I had the opportunity to spend a night in a tipi with fellow Urban Ecology Center employee Walter Sams. Below is a passage Walter wrote about our experience.  To experience the tipi yourself, check out the Family Program, Family Snowshoe Hike, or join us on Saturday mornings for Stories in the Tipi - Drop In Program.
Written by Phenology Team
Wednesday, 02 January 2013
Do you love Phenology? Whether you answer with an emphatic “Yes!” or you think phenology is a silly word I made up, I hope you’ll become a “Phenology Phan” by the end of this post! At the Urban Ecology Center, we love phenology so much that we formed a phenology team just to help you understand and appreciate phenology. What is Phenology, anyway? Now before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a moment to introduce Phenology and its importance.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Friday, 28 December 2012
We are often asked how we have been able to reach so many people - 20,888 students in 44 Milwaukee schools and a total of 90,000 individuals just last year alone. Our answer? We have a great big group of loyal, generous supporters, that’s how! We invite you to see for yourself. No really, see how many contribted to our success last year!
Written by Guest Blogger
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
You may have noticed a new addition to the Urban Ecology Center Riverside Park grounds: A beautiful archway made out of found pieces of iron and steel by blacksmith Nathaniel Reinartz. This arch is located along the northwest corner of the building and covers about fifteen feet of a curving sidewalk. Shrubs and trees will eventually grow through and over the frame. The following was written by Nathaniel about his journey of creating this piece of art for our community.
Written by Willie Karidis
Friday, 21 December 2012
We’re prescribing outdoor activities to help you connect to nature in Milwaukee! Check out Episode 4 of our Nature Prescriptions video series with Willie Karidis, Branch Manager of Washington Park Branch.
Written by Joel Springsteen
Friday, 21 December 2012
The famous biologist and philosopher E.O. Wilson coined the word biophilia to describe the instinctive human bond between humans and other living systems. One way human biophilia is expressed this time of year is in the placement of evergreen boughs, wreaths, and trees in homes and public spaces. Before the invention of plastic foliage and even before the first Christmas, evergreens were celebrated as symbols of eternal life and incorporated in celebrations across North Africa, Europe, and Northern Asia.  And before the word 'evergreen' was first used to refer to plants that keep their leaves year-round, English speakers referred to them as 'wintergreen'. Today the meaning of the word 'wintergreen' has narrowed and refers exclusively to broadleaved plants in the genus Gaultheria.
Written by Erick Anderson
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
"Uh uh. We ain’t going. We wanna go to gym!” What a way to start a class. We thought they’d be happy to see us. After all we were about to take them away from school to play and learn in the snow (and even slip in a little sledding). Who wouldn’t want to do that? This class, apparently. In fact, when we showed up at their room and asked if they were going on a field trip, they tried to convince us we were in the wrong room! Things did not start well, but we were confident that we could corral these seventh grade stallions.
Written by Willie Karidis
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
“Taking this trip to Alaska was the best thing that I’d ever done for myself.” - Mia Kuether, participant, 2012 Great Alaska Adventure “From the famous owl’s nest from the movie Into The Wild, to swimming moose, a lonely grizzly, beaver entering his mansion, magnificent clear view of Denali, outstanding meals, our naturalist Nan’s wisdom, delightful people and so much more in one adventure....it was awesome!” - Ellen Boettcher and Pat Cochran, participants, 2012 Great Alaska Adventure This past September my wife Christine and I led 45 Urban Ecology Center members to our former home and showed them a slice of what makes Alaska magical. It was so much fun, we are doing it again!

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