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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Chad Thomack
Thursday, 03 May 2018
I was enjoying a dinner with my family when I got a call from Beth, our Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning. “Chad, I just wanted to give you a heads up that someone got into your bus and sprayed the fire extinguisher all over.” Oh shoot! I totally forgot to lock up my bus at the end of the night and now I am stuck with the repercussions.
Written by Guest Blogger
Friday, 27 April 2018
Who doesn’t love living creatures that are brilliantly colored, small and abundant in their desired environment? Beetles have been treasures, delicacies, and pets for thousands of years. Just like feathers have been used in fashion, so too have beetle wings. Over the summer, my dentist was preparing for an Indian family wedding in Canada. She was painstakingly embroidering metallic, vibrant colored beetle wings (beetlewing embroidery) onto the wedding gown.
Written by Ken Leinbach
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
“Hello Urban Ecology Center! I am excited to apply to your Intensive workshop. I live in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, and have begun running environmental education programs in one of the parks. I read your book, and think the Intensive is just the training I need in order to use our current resources to create further impact, serve more schools, and educate all people to understand the importance of Environmental Eduction. We are inspired by what you have done!” — Elena You may already know about Urban Ecology, the book I wrote last year about our story that I hoped would inspire others to take action in their own cities. But did you know that…
Written by MaryBeth Kressin
Monday, 23 April 2018
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.
Written by Jeff Veglahn
Monday, 16 April 2018
A seed is small and complex,  And will keep you perplexed,  On how it relents,  From seasons to next.
Written by Michaela Molter
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Did you know Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States nearly fifty years ago? This annual event, which began on April 22, 1970, was proposed as a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Denis Hayes, and Paul Erlich. Twenty years later the event went global. Today, more than one billion people in nearly 200 countries participate internationally in Earth Day activities each year!
Written by Danny Pirtle
Monday, 26 March 2018
In the visitor services department at the Urban Ecology Center, we like to say that we “wear a lot of hats.” In any given day, for example, I may end up making a pot of coffee, repairing a broken snowshoe, signing visitors up for memberships, training a new volunteer receptionist, or setting up a room for a neighborhood group, amongst many more tasks and projects. This spring, two students from Cardinal Stritch University took the opportunity to experience the life of the Visitor Services Department first-hand as our first ever Visitor Services College Interns.
Written by CJ Buhk
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
One of my favorite things is to roll into Riverside Park on a fall day and hear the crunch of leaves under my tires. From the paved oak circle to the crushed limestone path along the Milwaukee River, my power wheelchair and I are a team looking for everything that being in nature brings. As an employee of the UEC, I'm super proud of our commitment to providing experiences that bring everyone as far into urban nature as they are willing to go. Together we've learned that sometimes all it takes to increase access to nature for people with disabilities is ingenuity, curiosity and a sense of adventure.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
As I look longingly over the Menomonee Valley river basin currently radiating with spring promise, I am reminded of last week’s bitter rain and our dashed hopes of seeing the season's first Red-winged Blackbird. But spring’s sweet whispers delivered on the high note of a cardinal’s song today again brought hope that spring was still on its way. But, what if we weren’t driven by hope but by some kind of undeniable intuition or reverberating internal awareness? How does a wild animal adapt during an unpredictable Wisconsin winter?
Written by Antonio Garcia
Tuesday, 06 March 2018
Just for a moment, try to think back to your first fond memory around water. What were you doing? Who were you with? What did that experience mean to you as you grew older? Our memories and stories - especially those around water - help shape us as individuals, families and as a people. Just as the water sustains us; the way we treat and respect (or disrespect) the waters in return reflect back on us as a people - like a mirror, revealing parts of our Milwaukee story.

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