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MaryBeth Kressin

MaryBeth Kressin

MaryBeth Kressin is the Facility Rental Coordinator for all three branches and part of the Visitor Services Team. When she is not working hard booking your party, setting up for your wedding, giving tours or helping at the front desk you can find her biking, cooking, reading in her garden or helping her husband renovate their house. She loves being outside, feels passionately about recycling and animals and is honored to be part of the Urban Ecology Center.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 09:58

Notes from an Odonata workshop

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.

Monday, 28 January 2019 13:05

Eco I Do (and so do they!)

Once upon a summer day in 2016, an Urban Ecology Center member named Marybeth (same name – but not me!) decided to borrow a canoe through our equipment lending program and go out to explore the Milwaukee River. She knew that a week from then, she was going on a first date with a close friend and wanted it to be special. After that test run she decided to have their date on the river - an intimate time together in nature.

Monday, 23 April 2018 10:05

Poetry and Nature

As the end of April rounds the snowy bend, we reflect back on National Poetry Month and how the very best writers have intertwined words with nature. From the poetry of Mary Oliver (“There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees…”) to Walt Whitman (“Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows… Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature your primal sanities!”) throughout time people have beautifully captured the essence of the world outdoors.

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 07:59

Green Weddings: Eco I Do

Did you know that the average American wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of CO2? According to Eco Chic Weddings by Emily Elizabeth Anderson, American weddings are equivalent to 8.3 million cars driving on the road for a year. This includes flowers, paper (invitations), textiles (dress, suits), gas emissions (transportation), and everything else that can occur from the wedding. Holy matrimony! That is a huge carbon footprint on our world!

But have no fear – there are steps you can take to make your special day special for the Earth, too.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 15:20

Inspired by National Poetry Month

As we bid farewell to April, National Poetry Month once again comes to a close. This year the Urban Ecology Center celebrated poetry and the earth on two special evenings. The Thursday before Earth Day brought a new group of poets and energy into the center with Spirit and Nature – A reading and Conversation with Anishinaabe Poets. The following night was the annual Earth Poets and Musicians Earthstravaganza. This marked the 30th anniversary of this group meeting, sharing words with our community and celebrating the earth.

Baby showers and birthday parties and weddings – oh my! When the education classes wrap up and our public programs are done, the second life of our classrooms and branches emerges. Retirement parties, memorial celebrations, bridal showers, company retreats and more! Our spaces get used all over again – a repurposing of space if you will – with our facility rental program.

As the thaw of spring teases our impatient senses, and the red-winged black bird harmonizes with the drip drip drip of the melting snow, the anticipation of wedding season lingers around the corner at the Urban Ecology Center's Riverside Park branch. Couples planning their magical day look for just the right venue, and the Urban Ecology Center becomes an eco-friendly option host to one of the most important days of their life. Green weddings are not just a trendy theme but a smart approach to making that special day mean even more – and we can help!

Friday, 02 October 2015 00:00

Sundays at Riverside

I love working at Riverside Park on a Sunday. It is unlike any other day of the week. True, it is the shortest day that we have open hours (only from 12-5), but in those five hours the laughter, playing and energy cannot compare to any others. "Walk" with me and see what a typical Sunday is like.

The cool quiet moments before the building opens there is an almost palpable peace as our small but strong weekend staff prepares for the day. After we walk around straightening this and that, make sure the coffee is brewed and the music is turned on, we unceremoniously unlock the front door.

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