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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

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.”
Written by Guest Blogger
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
I’m not a professional scientist. But animal stories, biographies of scientists and works of natural history have always been my favorite reading material. Since childhood I’ve been nourished by the prose of ones who observe, measure and count; imagine and experiment. I still have natural history books I acquired as a child. One of them is Animal Behavior from the Life Nature Library series. It was published in 1965; presented as an introduction to what the editors of the time called the “infant science” of ethology. 
Written by Guest Blogger
Wednesday, 06 December 2017
The thought of hiking 100 miles through the northern Maine wilderness was just an idea thrown around between my dad (Alan) and I (Erin) until one day at the end of 2016, we decided to book flights and make it happen. After months of training, it was finally time to get on a plane and go to Monson, Maine. We started our hike on Mt. Katahdin, the northern most point of the Appalachian Trail. Everything we would need for the next 11 days was on our backs and once we entered the 100 Mile Wilderness, there was no access to civilization until we reached the other side.
Written by Elise Campagna
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
The weather is cooling down, the days are short, and perhaps your little ones are starting to go a bit stir crazy… or maybe the old office job has you down and feeling like you LITERALLY NEVER see the sun anymore?! Should you find yourself (or your family) coming down with some serious cabin fever as fall freezes over into the first frosts of winter, don’t hesitate to drop on by your neighborhood Urban Ecology Center for indoor and outdoor winter fun! First, bundle up and get all your wiggles out climbing, hiking, playing, and exploring outside in one of our three parks. You might find frenzied squirrels busy burying their hoard of nuts. Or maybe some sparkly icy dewdrops…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 23 November 2017
Thank you for your support! You are helping teach kids and adults the mysteries of nature, tranform acres of urban land into beautiful green spaces and provide healthy habitats for plants and animals. After all, we're all in this together!
Written by Tim Vargo
Friday, 17 November 2017
Mother Nature and Father Time. We’ve known they were our family for at least 3,000 years when they first entered into Ancient Greek lore. I prefer to call them our parents and leave out the gender, but let’s focus on their relationship. It’s prudent to consider time in our daily lives – learn from the past, live in the present, prepare for the future. Nature excels at all three of these things.
Written by Beth Heller
Thursday, 16 November 2017
“See you at the top, Aunt Beth!” shouted my niece, Kate who was 12 at the time. We were at Lapham Peak facing what is affectionately called “Asthma Hill”. My niece and her friend had mastered the art of skiing uphill leaving me lagging behind, catching my breath. They paused and asked me to lead only once, at the “Roller Coaster” section of the trail: a steep, undulating, fast and slightly icy technical stretch. I must say, I was delighted to be able to give a few pointers, even if it was just once that day.
Written by Matt Flower
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
There’s a certain allure to farming that resonates with almost everyone. It’s very hard work, but your daily connection to the land is powerful. As an environmental educator at the Urban Ecology Center I consider myself a farmer of connections. From birth, children are developing their connection with the wider world and the many experiences in nature make up the threads that are woven throughout our entire lives.

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