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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
The Green Birding Challenge is a friendly birding event to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMDB) and raise money for Community Science programming at the Urban Ecology Center. We had 12 teams compete in four categories (walking, sitting, biking, and a mini-challenge). Teams recorded 112 species of birds and raised over $4800. This year, 10 Young Scientists from Washington and Riverside Park participated in the mini-challenge! Winners received trophies and experiential trips (canoe trip, hawk-watching trip, etc.) and the team with the fewest birds found received a free trip with the research team to work on bird identification skills.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Monday, 20 May 2013
By now, I think most of you know that the Urban Ecology Center now has a branch in the Menomonee Valley! What you may or may not know is that Menomonee Valley branch is just one piece of a larger project, called “From the Ground Up,” which is a combined effort the Urban Ecology Center, the Menomonee Valley Partners, the City , the State, and many others. This summer, we are putting into motion the final piece in the From the Ground Up project: on July 20th (save the date!) we are opening at brand new 24 acre park, next to the Center on a former brownfield site.
Written by Kara Baldwin
Friday, 17 May 2013
On the first day of “I Spy…Birds!” Camp, the campers arrived excited for a fun week of camp. Some were thrilled about the prospect of spending a whole week learning about and searching for birds.  Others were just excited to be at the Urban Ecology Center.  And some were skeptical and needed some convincing that birds were worthy of being studied for a whole week of their summer.  The skepticism was short-lived, however, as they received their binoculars and started paging through their new bird field guides (which were theirs to keep, thanks to funding from the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology and discounted binoculars through Eagle Optics.)
Written by Mike Larson
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
When I was in college, I took a course on physical geography as part of my general education requirements. Our course textbook covered various unique and interesting natural areas in the United States ranging from the canyon lands of Utah to the limestone caves of Kentucky, and we learned about the specific geographic confluences that formed these natural wonders. One day my classmates and I were bemused to find that we were studying glacial features in the exotic locale of Southeastern Wisconsin. Having lived in the area most of my life, I never really thought of kettles, eskers, moraines, and drumlins as being anything particularly special, but apparently, these features that formed as giant sheets of ice retreated across the…
Written by Phenology Team
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Every new day in May brings out plants and critters that re-emerge after their winter absence. Warmer temperatures and longer days allow plants to re-emerge from soil and leaves and flowers to burst forth from trees. These provide food for insects, which are food for frogs, birds and mammals and so on.  Here are some things to look for outside in May.
Written by Jennifer Callaghan
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
The beautiful luna moth (Actias luna) is a large white-bodied moth, with lime green-colored wings and pinkish legs. This Wisconsin native is found in the state from spring to summer and flies only in the evenings. It has a wingspan of 3-5 inches and possesses a single transparent eyespot on each wing meant to confuse predators. Hind wings have long curved tails, giving the moth its distinct look. 
Written by Glenna Holstein
Friday, 10 May 2013
I cannot WAIT for summer in the Menomonee Valley!  Twittering birds, fish splashing in the river, beautiful blossoming prairie plants, and for the first time ever…Urban Ecology Center summer campers!  Do you have any children in your life?  There is a whole world of wonder here waiting for kiddos to come enjoy it—all you need to do is sign them up! There are endless reasons why I think summer camp in the Menomonee Valley is an amazing opportunity for kids, but here are my top 3:
Written by Omar Bonilla-Ortiz
Wednesday, 08 May 2013
The season of cycling is upon us.  Here are a few ideas for places to ride, both in and out of the city, for cyclists of all experience levels.   “Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.”  - James E. Starrs
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 07 May 2013
In honor of Bike to Work Week, May 13th-18th, we thought we’d offer some tips from our own bike-commuting experts! Many of our staff members bike to work year-round (read about our Eco-Buck program here) and have offered bike commuting tips on gear, all weather riding, safety, hauling stuff and bike security for both novice and expert bikers alike!
Written by Dan Graves
Monday, 06 May 2013
Finally the weather has started to change for the better. Bloodroot, trout lily and other spring ephemerals are beginning to blossom. It is also the time of year when all gardeners are itchin’ to get their hands dirty.  Preparing your gardening space is the number one priority right now. In this blog post, I’ll let you know what I do to prepare my beds in early spring for plant success!

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