Mike Ziegler

Mike Ziegler

Mike Ziegler is the seasonal Urban Adventure Specialist at the Urban Ecology Center. He’s happy to hold that position; not only because it allows him to engage others in his love for having fun in the wilds of Milwaukee, but also because he’s now able to tell his parents you actually can get a job as an adventurer! Mike gets energy from building supportive and vibrant communities welcoming to all its members, as well as from the sun. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 00:00

I See Our Community Working Together

Camping trips, while fun, are still subject to Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

I recently lead a camping trip with a group of youth from a partner organization. It was approaching midnight and we could barely see the campsite from inside the van we had taken temporary shelter in. Our vision was not only obscured by the sheets of rain (a surprise storm had rolled in), but the windows were also fogged from the heat generated by the dozen or so young men huddled up inside the van. The sounds of rain and wind outside the van were quite loud, but even louder was a sound that was coming from the inside of the van – laughter.

While going on a camping trip can become second nature after a few times out, the first encounter with all those tent poles, vacant fire pit, and the expectant eyes of your children can be a bit daunting. Well, be daunted no more! The Urban Ecology Center is offering our Family Camping Trip - an overnight camping trip at the beautiful Blue Heron Wild Life Sanctuary in Saukville, less than an hour north of the city. Come with questions, leave with confidence in your own camping skills, and have a fantastically memorable time with your family in between!

Have you discovered the often overlooked avenues of our city, sunken below eyesight yet content to calmly carry on under the bustle above? I'm not hinting at a new subway system, nor am I promoting spelunking in our sewers. These unlauded arteries Milwaukee is so lucky to have go by three names – Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee... the three beautiful rivers that literally give the shape to our city. I'm writing today so that you may fall in love – get swept up in a head-over-heals affection for the great waterways Milwaukee has been graced with. And the best way to do so is through the Summer Paddling Series offered at the Urban Ecology Center! If you have yet to start a relationship with our rivers, we've got some great ideas for "first dates" this summer.

Acrophobia. That’s the Latin name for a fear of heights – but forget that for a second. Instead, let me introduce you to Abstentisfelixtriumphusphobia. Admittedly a word made up without any knowledge of Latin, but if you’ll allow it: “A fear of missing out on a really fun time and/or the opportunity to feel triumphant.” Or how about Ascendopetropariesiphilia, an “irrepressible love of climbing rock walls?” Well, with the opening of the rock wall for our 2014 climbing season, we’ve got a cure for all these conditions!

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:55

Fall Paddling Series

As the days get shorter and the acorn squash fatter, the rivers of our city will soon be awash in streaks of yellows, oranges, and reds. But if there’s one thing that won’t be waning (at least for me), it’s the itch to be out and active along Milwaukee’s waterways. Do you find yourself in the, ahem, same boat? Then let’s give the Milwaukee River some much deserved autumnal love with the Urban Ecology Center’s Fall Paddling Series!

Along the East Side of Milwaukee’s Oak Leaf Trail, some 40 feet in the air, stories are being made. Stories of fear overcome, of goals achieved, and of limitations shattered. I’m not talking about some sort of theater of the birds; the protagonists of these stories are the victorious rock climbers on the Urban Ecology Center’s very own rock climbing wall! And now you can add your own story to the rock wall’s vaunted history for a greatly discounted rate. The Urban Ecology Center is now selling rock climbing passes that essentially allow you 5 climbs for the price of 4! The details of the climbing pass are below, but first a word about our wall.


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