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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Joel Springsteen
Monday, 04 March 2013
Common Wood Sedge, Carex blanda, is one of the most ubiquitous native woodland plants. This lush yet tough plant is often seen growing next to paths indicating that it is well adapted to disturbed and compacted soils and that its seeds are spread via mud stuck to the bottom of shoes, paws, and hooves. The seeds may also be distributed by woodland ants. The leaves and seeds of native Carex are an important sources of food for wildlife.
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Tim Huth owns LotFotL Community Farm (LotFotL rhymes with “hot bottle” and stands for Living off the Fat of the Land). Tim became interested in vegetable farming while studying at Carroll University in Waukesha. With a strong interest in building community, Tim realized that he wanted to build a skill that produced tangible results that contributed to whatever community he was a part of. So what started out as a back porch container garden in college, blossomed into a business in 2007.
Written by Beth Heller
Monday, 25 February 2013
Eight year old Sammy has just found a soft-shelled turtle along the Milwaukee River. It is visible only because it was startled when the group of summer campers came just close enough to this very well-camouflaged Riverside Park resident for it to make a run for the more protective waters. Sammy calls to his new friend, John, saying “Look at this turtle. What a weird nose!” The two excitedly watch as the turtle looks back for a moment then dives into the river. They giggle a little as the carapace disappears under the surface of the water.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum is becoming a reality thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Pieter Godfrey, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, The River Revitalization Foundation, Wisconsin DNR, Milwaukee County Parks, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition and many more donors and volunteers. See what's been happening with your support!
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
For Steve Young and Debra Jo Becker of Rare Earth Farm in Belgium, Wisconsin, “farming isn't something you do when you feel like it- it's a lifestyle.” The pair, who described themselves as a couple of happily married farmers, have over twenty years of experience growing crops and caring for the land. According to Debra Jo, “if you don't care for your soil first it almost isn't worth bothering to care for your crops- especially over the long-term.”
Written by Chad Thomack
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Ah yes, nothing like the crispness of a cold winter day! The fresh cold air in my lungs wakes up the mind and body. Silently I ski across a bluff over looking Lake Michigan in the glow of a winter moon as my dog runs next to me. I pause for a moment to take in complete silence; I feel as though I am in the deep woods of northern Wisconsin but am only a few miles from downtown Milwaukee.
Written by Beth Heller
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
"...the crisp, prehistoric roar of thousands of cranes filled our ears and our heads so fully that we almost needed ear plugs. Their wild calls resonated in our lungs, bones and hearts." As I’ve, ahem, matured, I’ve noticed that memory is a tricky thing. Sometimes I remember things from years ago as though they happened just moments ago. Sometimes things that happened yesterday are as foggy as if they happened years ago. Today, I’m excited to share something that happened years ago, but I can recall it as if it just happened.
Written by Terrance Davis
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Having started my new position as the Visitor Services Assistant in November, I have been fortunate to observe the daily branch activities here in Washington Park. My conclusion... The Washington Park Urban Ecology Center fills me with happiness each day! There are so many things that fill me with joy, and I certainly had a huge smile on my face when I was asked to write this article. But nothing prompts a smile faster than the smile of another person. It’s contagious. Just ask my friends and co-workers at the Urban Ecology Center; they will confirm that I keep a smile on my face all the time. There are so many people to thank for this: members, volunteers, visitors, staff…
Written by Jamie Ferschinger
Monday, 18 February 2013
When I was in college I took a year-long course titled Water 211. Before taking the class, I had a fairly average depth of knowledge and relationship with water: I consumed water, I used water, and I knew the basics about water. But beyond that, I didn’t give it much additional thought. Upon completion of the class my deep, and somewhat nerdy, fascination with water had blossomed. Water is truly amazing! Second to no other molecule, in my book.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Monday, 18 February 2013
I am not a parent, so I can’t claim to know what the highs and lows of parenthood might be, but I imagine one of the most incredible experiences must be to witness the transition from not being into being: to have in your life, all of a sudden, a wonderful living thing that wasn’t there at all before. I got to experience that a little bit the other day at the Menomonee Valley branch.

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