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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Terrance Davis
Sunday, 28 January 2018
I have a lot of memories that were made on the Washington Park Lagoon. The most memorable has to be when I totally slayed in ice hockey my first time ever playing! Okay, I didn’t really slay - I survived in style. While I tell you about it, I’ll throw in some facts about a cool opportunity available to you at the Urban Ecology Center at Washington Park.
Written by Tea Cakarmis
Monday, 22 January 2018
The viscerally devastating moving picture of a polar bear struggling to board a chunk of ice, dissolving under its paws, still haunts me today. Judging by the public and critical response to the The Inconvenient Truth—a national and international box office success from 2006—I was not the only one that found the documentary poignant and disturbing. The impact of the film is best captured by the Oxford University-run survey which shows that as many as 89% of respondents said it made them more aware of the problem of global warming and as many as 74% of them claimed that they had changed some of their habits after seeing the film.
Written by Caitlin Reinartz
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
When I first started learning about plants, I had a lot of questions. How does a tree gets water from deep in the ground all the way up to leaves 160 feet in the air? How are plants able to survive cold winters like this one? How do seeds know when to germinate in the spring? Why are most plants green anyway? Why not blue or pink or black? Do plants communicate with one another? How do plants defend themselves from attack by insects? Whew! That's a lot of stuff to learn! The more I dug into this (no pun intended), the more I discovered how amazing, adaptable, and beautiful plants can be.
Written by Erick Anderson
Monday, 15 January 2018
Many times, members have shared with me their fond memories of ice skating on the Washington Park Lagoon while growing up. Having accessible skating in their neighborhoods was a huge part of many people’s childhoods. It was an important part of my childhood, too! I walked to a local park to go ice skating. Providing that service to the Washington Park neighborhood is something that we take great pride in as an organization.
Written by Beth Heller
Monday, 08 January 2018
We are delighted to announce that the Urban Ecology Center’s volunteer department achieved certification as a “Service Enterprise” organization through Points of Light! This national recognition of excellence comes after a rigorous process in Points of Light’s Service Enterprise training program. The program aims to help nonprofits who already engage volunteers well to learn ways to more effectively engage volunteers and extend the reach of their missions.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 04 January 2018
You did it! Thank you for your tremendous support during our Fall Fund Drive. Your support means we’ll be able to continue providing hands-on environmental education to children and communities in Milwaukee while taking care of the land we all stand on. Thank you for supporting the UEC during our Fall Fund Drive, Giving Tuesday, and every day!
Written by MaryBeth Kressin
Wednesday, 03 January 2018
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.
Written by Tea Cakarmis
Monday, 01 January 2018
At first, it might seem as if the concepts of curiosity and focus are at odds with each other. After all, isn’t curiosity — which we all wish to inspire in kids — a wondering mind that finds the unknown thrilling and riveting? To a certain extent, yes. However, a child’s curiosity is much more: it is a pull to uncover the truths of the natural and the man-made world. As such, it requires time, patience and focus, from both the kids and the teachers.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Friday, 29 December 2017
In our December 2017 Weekly Guide emails we introduced our supporters and friends to some people they helped connect to the outdoors. We think their stories are pretty awesome so we put them together in case you missed any of the updates. Experience the Urban Ecology Center through the videos below. You'll find a determined teen, a budding butterfly scientist, a Menomonee Valley family, and one of our monthly donors.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Wednesday, 27 December 2017
As the first snow flurries fell back in November, we hosted a breakfast tour to promote work of the Center. With a fire crackling in the wood stove of Riverside Park, the group had the opportunity to see an elementary school class slide into the building; boisterous laughter and chatter, followed by a miraculous corralling of the kids into a circle by our educators. With the kids now paying perfect attention, the educators say, “This is your Urban Ecology Center. Come back whenever you’d like!” Feeling the tangible energy in the room, one tour attendee commented, “I’m going to come here and just read a book. What a wonderful place to be.”

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