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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
The Urban Ecology Center’s Summer Internship progran is a dynamic employment opportunity for adults. It’s a win-win; The Center gains valuable help during our busiest months and Interns get a summer they’ll never forget!
Written by Ken Leinbach
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
“Ken, in addition to our gift for your early childhood program, we are also interested in giving you a little extra to write a book. We think that the story of the Urban Ecology Center is an inspirational one that needs to be told.” Wow! How cool is that? This remarkable, unsolicited gift came last year from a foundation that had just started their support. However, it has not been until very recently that we have actually figured out how to carve out the necessary time to put a book together. I mean, really, how do you even start? Well, in typical Urban Ecology Center fashion we’d like to start with you!
Written by Mike Ziegler
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Have you discovered the often overlooked avenues of our city, sunken below eyesight yet content to calmly carry on under the bustle above? I'm not hinting at a new subway system, nor am I promoting spelunking in our sewers. These unlauded arteries Milwaukee is so lucky to have go by three names – Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee... the three beautiful rivers that literally give the shape to our city. I'm writing today so that you may fall in love – get swept up in a head-over-heals affection for the great waterways Milwaukee has been graced with. And the best way to do so is through the Summer Paddling Series offered at the Urban Ecology Center! If you have yet to…
Written by Anne Reis
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Many of the Urban Ecology Center staff, volunteers and community members love taking photographs of the wildlife and vegetation in our parks. Who can discount the natural beauty of an unfurling fiddlehead or the pure white flower of the bloodroot? Many photographers find the natural world a source of limitless inspiration for their art. Others take photographs to record phenological observations. Phenology is the study of the timing of natural events, such as the first bud break, the first appearance of a migratory animal, the making and breaking of ice on lakes and more. The first appearance of the nodding head of the yellow trout lily is not only photogenic, but it is also a harbinger of spring. The date…
Written by Sam Huenink
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Forests are filled with mysterious and beautiful happenings: the flickering light of fireflies in summer nights, the almost instantaneous blooming of flowers on a spring morning, the dance of colored leaves falling in autumn, and snow-covered branches in the winter. We have a mystery to solve at the Urban Ecology Center too and we need your family's help solving it!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Everyone, no matter their age, can teach, help and learn at the Urban Ecology Center! See for yourself how older adults through teens are mentoring Summer Campers and students who will in turn be the environmental leaders of tomorrow. Research shows two things make a person environmentally aware – constant contact with nature early in life and a mentor who demonstrates positive behavior toward the environment. With this research in mind, we train interns to be mentors to high schoolers, who in turn become mentors to our Summer Campers. Come in today to see how your whole family can learn, work and grow at our Center. 
Written by Mike Ziegler
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Acrophobia. That’s the Latin name for a fear of heights – but forget that for a second. Instead, let me introduce you to Abstentisfelixtriumphusphobia. Admittedly a word made up without any knowledge of Latin, but if you’ll allow it: “A fear of missing out on a really fun time and/or the opportunity to feel triumphant.” Or how about Ascendopetropariesiphilia, an “irrepressible love of climbing rock walls?” Well, with the opening of the rock wall for our 2014 climbing season, we’ve got a cure for all these conditions!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 12 May 2014
Construction to rebuild and stabilize a section of bluff will be starting Monday May 12th around 7:30 a.m. The construction is expected to continue until the end of the month. The area that is being worked on is just south of the Locust St. bridge where the bluff washed out by flooding in summer 2010.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Thursday, 08 May 2014
At the end of April, we conducted prescribed burns at both our Washington Park and Riverside Park locations. With the help from Dare Ecosystem Management and Urban Ecology Center staff, we were able to conduct a restoration by fire that took place over the prairie, savannah and oak woodland areas. This was the third burn in Riverside Park and the first burn in Washington Park. This successful technique knocked back the invasive species and allowed a more diverse range of native species to emerge.  Check out this video to see great photos and video footage of the burn and learn more about the benefits of a prescribed burn from an interview with Caitlin, one of our land stewards, who was on…
Written by Erick Anderson
Wednesday, 07 May 2014
It seems like a simple task: start a fire, and boil a cup of water. Turns out it’s not so easy when all you have is a paper cup and three matches. During last year’s Teen Survival Challenge, I watched twenty different teams accomplish this task twenty different ways, and each of those ways gave me unique insight into the different ways teams work together and think through problems.

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