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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 31 August 2020
When we think of fall, we begin to dream of pumpkins, apple orchards, and pumpkin spice lattes. While these are exciting things to look forward to, fall also brings on an exciting event that you can witness from your backyard's comfort. Fall migration in Wisconsin can begin as early as August and will continue through December. The first birds to kick off migration are swallows and purple martins. Birds move to where there are more resources, such as food and nesting locations. Insect availability drops as temperatures cool, and other food sources become scarce as the plant life decays.
Written by Laura Wolske
Thursday, 27 August 2020
As you are socially distancing, working from home, and trying to plan a wedding, you might find yourself retreating to the outdoors for some much needed zen during this difficult time. Why not return the favor? Help Mother Nature by looking into some sustainable event decor that decreases waste and your carbon footprint! We have gathered a resource list of eco-friendly wedding décor crafts that you can easily do at home while saving you money and a little bit of sanity. Check them out!
Written by Ethan Bott
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
While springtime has long ago passed and with social distancing and mask wearing highly recommended, the Urban Ecology Center is excited to announce our first ever Fall Backyard Birding Blitz on Saturday, September 12th! As the birds start their journey back down south to warmer places for the winter, that means that they will be stopping by in Milwaukee and in cities and places from around the country. Come join us in observing and documenting the beautiful birds as they migrate south. Similar to the Green Birding Challenge in spring, some of the rules will sound familiar – you can choose between one of three challenges where you will try to record as many different species of birds as possible…
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 17 August 2020
Moths are known for their beauty and curious attraction to light. These alluring creatures often are overlooked when compared to their close relative, the butterfly. There are a total of 835 species of butterflies in North America. While this number may seem high, it does not compare to the 12,000 total number of moth species in North America alone. Worldwide, there is a whopping total of 160,000 species of moth. For butterflies, there are only 17,500 species worldwide.
Written by Drew Vandegrift
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
It is harvest time in the garden. Berries and tomatoes are bursting and ready for plucking. The squash have exploded with growth. Lettuce has bolted and is showing its yellow flowers. Have you considered what could replace those plants? It is time to pull out those half-full seed packets. Get ready for a second harvest!
Written by Ethan Bott
Thursday, 30 July 2020
As we continue off of the success of our Yardversity event from July, we are excited to share that we will be offering a monthly version of Yardversity for the foreseeable future. This continues on Thursday night, August 20th from 8:00 - 10:00pm CST as we document the incredible night time diversity, especially those nocturnal insects that flood your porch and street lights.
Written by Chad Thomack
Monday, 27 July 2020
Summer camp is buzzing this year and the campers are making discoveries that continue to amaze me. There are so many interesting parts to nature and my first week of camp we discovered a particularly interesting insect. I present to you: the ever iconic stag beetle.
Written by Danny Pirtle
Friday, 24 July 2020
We are lucky to have a resident snake as an animal ambassador at all three branches of the Urban Ecology Center: Neile the black rat snake at Riverside Park, Andre the bull snake at Washington Park, and Sara the bull snake at Menomonee Valley. These snakes have the job of giving our visitors and students an up close look at a greatly misunderstood animal. One of the most common questions people ask when they are meeting our snakes is: “are they poisonous?” The answer is no, they are not. But also, that question is not necessarily asking what you think it is asking. Because very few snakes in the world are actually, by definition, poisonous.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Tuesday, 21 July 2020
We are so excited to announce that two of our staff have moved into new roles at the Urban Ecology Center. Glenna Holstein is now the Membership Manager, a new position focused on engaging our members, recruiting new members, and enhancing the membership experience at UEC. Angélica Sánchez Mora is now our Menomonee Valley Branch manager.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Monday, 20 July 2020
As the summer picks up speed, the Urban Ecology Center is bursting with energy and amazing interns. They have come to share their skills, further fulfill their career ambitions, and connect their communities to nature despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the UEC had a total of 17 interns. Five are land steward interns, 11 are summer camp interns, and 1 is a science communication intern. Altogether, the interns helped summer campers reconnect to nature and keep the organization’s mission to help the community.

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