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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Davita Flowers-Shanklin
Friday, 10 April 2020
It's hard to believe that Earth Day is right around the corner. In some ways it feels like March was years ago and that we had so much time until Earth Day. When I look back before the "Safer at Home" state order was issued, we at the Urban Ecology Center were gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day through our Earth Day of Service event. We were excited to partner with Milwaukee Riverkeeper for their 25th annual Spring River Cleanup, partner with organizations and businesses in our communities to work on projects in our parks, to partner with neighbors and schools to come together to clean up our community and celebrate the earth.
Written by Davita Flowers-Shanklin
Friday, 10 April 2020
Did you know that Earth Day started 50 years ago by Wisconsin's very own Sen. Gaylord Nelson? It's true! Originally, Earth Day was called the National Environmental Teach-in. The goal was to have a national day of ecological observance in order to mobilize public sentiment towards environmental issues and to positively impact future ecological decisions. Sen. Nelson based his idea around the teach-ins taking place all over the country around the Vietnam War. He hoped that students around the country would want to hold events on the same day to help grab the attention of news outlets and most importantly, lawmakers in Washington DC.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
As Environmental Educator Regina Miller was taking a quiet morning walk in a local park recently, she looked around and most of the forest world looked brown and gray. The colors of winter are still all around even though it is spring. Soon, however, Regina began to see peeks of bright green here and there on the forest floor and it made me smile.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
On dreary days it's good to know that some flowers are already peeking up from out of the ground. Below are a few of Milwaukee's early bloomers.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
Check out a find along the Menomonee River spotted by UEC Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan. At least 3 inches long, Brynne found a cocoon of a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest moth in North America!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 06 April 2020
It's spring cleaning time! Time to put harsh chemicals into the air and water as we clean the house! Wait, that sounds a bit counterintuitive. Putting harsh chemicals in the air to clean the house? Maybe we should try something new. We asked our staff to give us some of their favorite recipes for homemade household supplies. These options are better for the environment. The ingredients are cheaper and can be bought in large quantities, making these homemade concoctions better for your budget as well.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
WE MISS YOU and look forward to taking you on in-person adventures! In the meantime, let’s find creative ways to connect! Click here or on the image below for a full-sized coloring page for kids and adults alike! Show your coloring skills and love for connecting to nature by placing your masterpiece in your window. We’d also love to see your creation! Use #UECinmybackyard when you post on social media.
Written by Guest Blogger
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
“You wanna see my fish?” Eighteen participants sat in a circle of camp chairs looking at Ken, then at the small girl with the bucket. She was about five years old and on a mission. Ken had not noticed her as she walked toward the circle. He continued to focus on the session-topic of volunteerism at the Urban Ecology Center. The group had gathered as part of a multi-day introduction to the model — connecting people in cities to nature and each other — pioneered in Milwaukee. The UEC staff was bringing their expertise as an urban environmental education and community center to people from cities across the U.S. and other countries.
Written by Ethan Bott
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
We know COVID-19 is affecting everyone in Milwaukee County in many different and difficult ways. We are now spending a lot of time indoors living, working, and teaching as we care for ourselves and one another through physical distancing. However we also know that nature has incredible healing and calming powers that we want you to take advantage of during this stressful time. Whether that is in your backyard, in a park, or even through your window, we hope you have the chance to interact with the outdoors. Before you head outside, please abide by all health and social distancing recommendations by the CDC as well as by local health officials as they can change with every passing day. Please…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
As we all practice remaining “safer at home,” we are grateful for the many beautiful Milwaukee County Parks and other green spaces. Going outside for walks, hikes, bike rides, bird watching, and other activities can be done while using appropriate social distancing measures. We encourage you to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding us and the wonder of this transitional season. Here are some excellent recommendations from our staff on local, accessible natural areas where you can enjoy nature right now:

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