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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Mike Ziegler
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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!
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Friday, 12 September 2014
My mother gave me a deep appreciation for bats. She grew up in Texas, where any bat enthusiast knows, some of the world's most unbelievable bat hibernacula exist. She and her brother had a pet bat named Radar who they found as an orphan. They raised him (as I like to picture in a little matchbox, with tiny bat swaddling) until he grew stronger and older. Unfortunately Radar had an untimely run-in with a neighbor who was positive the bat had rabies. While my mother's memories of Radar faded, her fondness of him never did, and I have my mom to thank for sharing her love of an animal, that in the late-50's was completely uncool to love.
Written by Anne Reis
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
I recently read Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel, Flight Behavior, which is a fictional story about the disruption of eastern U.S. monarch migration patterns in response to the changing climate. As always, Kingsolver writes exquisitely about the raw beauty of the natural world. The story centers around a fictional occurrence of thousands of adult monarchs overwintering on a mountain in Tennessee, lighting the mountain on metaphorical fire. Kingsolver's female protagonist, despite having little formal science education, has the necessary curiosity to make insightful observations and pose thoughtful questions about this unexpected phenomenon. The novel elucidates the importance of understanding the scientific process and how the media portrays scientific findings. The book persuaded me to learn more about the charismatic monarch butterfly.
Written by Kara Baldwin
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
Last year, while brainstorming ideas for summer camps, I suggested a photography camp for middle school aged campers. This summer was the first year, to my knowledge, that we offered a photography camp, and I was lucky enough to lead it.
Written by Sam Huenink
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a NATURE RANGER! Do you know a child, 5 years or older, who would like to be part of our new Nature Ranger after school program at the Urban Ecology Center?
Written by Celia Benton
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Summer camp at the Urban Ecology Center is awesome for me as an educator. It’s laid back and having the same campers for four days means we have the opportunity to focus on activities they are interested in and help them gain a more in-depth knowledge of the environments just outside the Center’s doors.
Written by Meghan Jones
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Do you like DIY projects? Are you a seasoned mechanic or carpenter looking for a new challenge? Are you lacking skills but big on enthusiasm? Whether expert or novice, we have a new opportunity for you!  This fall, we are starting a regularly scheduled volunteer opportunity at our Riverside Park branch called Fixin’ Facilities. It is a great way to hone your skills or learn new ones as you work with others and help the Center.
Written by Beth Heller
Monday, 25 August 2014
He first arrived at the Urban Ecology Center as a guest presenter who shared the story of his solo 61 day wilderness trip tracing the steps of Charles A. Sheldon through the back country of Denali on the 100th anniversary of Sheldon’s trek. Shortly thereafter, Willie Karidis was hired at our Washington Park branch. Five years later Willie is returning to Alaska where, tapping into his deep appreciation for nature, wilderness and the depth of the human spirit, he will be the Chief Operating Officer of the world famous, 1049 mile Iditarod dogsled race!
Written by Lesley Sheridan
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Hiking. Backpacking. Campfire cookouts. They sound like great vacation activities, but for the Center's new class of High School Outdoor Leaders, this was all part of the job!
Written by Lesley Sheridan
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Our 2014-2016 class of High School Outdoor Leaders have returned from an adventure in the Northwoods, finished their summer training, and are gearing up to start working with the Center as part of their paid two-year internship. Please join us in welcoming these 18 wonderful high school students that will become integral parts of the Urban Ecology Center community over the next two years.

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