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Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

Written by Jeff Veglahn
Monday, 01 June 2020
Community Planting Day has been held in the Menomonee Valley since 2008. It’s inaugural planting day was organized by Menomonee Valley Partners to help plant and establish native plant communities within Menomonee Valley Community Park. Which at the time was a newly constructed 6-acre rain garden that was designed to retain stormwater from adjacent businesses and help reduce the volume of stormwater entering Menomonee River.
Written by Ethan Bott
Monday, 01 June 2020
Back in March, the Urban Ecology Center challenged you all to help document signs of spring in Milwaukee using iNaturalist (free mobile phone app) as a means of documenting and submitting data to an international dataset. There were nearly 400 springtime observations that you all recorded! You all helped identify 32 species which is nearly all of the species we challenged you with spotting. I couple of species that eluded documenting, was the Pasque Flower and the Spring Peeper. Both can be tough to spot! Additionally, we had 84 people submit data that fit within our phenology challenge requirements. Bloodroot had the most number of identifications with 44 people spotting it. 
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Saturday, 30 May 2020
Can you win BINGO by finding the items on the cards below?  Click on image to find the full, downloadable card.
Written by Regina Miller
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
Environmental Educator Regina Miller finds a lot of cool animals and plants in her backyard and nearby areas. Here are her recent cool finds. Check back here for more cool finds and check out urbanecologycenter.org/backyard for more discoveries from our staff (including a three-part video series by Regina)!
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Friday, 22 May 2020
Hello UEC Community, With summer quickly approaching, we are preparing for a safe and fun season. In addition to the virtual programming we have been offering through the Urban Ecology Center In My Backyard, we will slowly begin meeting other needs of our community through safe and careful on-site programming.
Written by Urban Ecology Center
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Thank you for your patience as we work to navigate the changing landscape of COVID-19 and social distancing policies. After lots of careful consideration and planning, we have decided that we will be offering limited summer camps starting mid-June. Read on for a little background on why we’ve decided to offer in-person camps and what we’re planning. Haga clic aquí para encontrar esta información en español.
Written by Maggie Steinhauer
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
It all started in the summer of 2018, which was my first true exposure to the world of dragonflies and damselflies. This was followed by my first field season leading odonate surveys with the Urban Ecology Center during the summer of 2019. I’m not sure I can pinpoint what it is that is so utterly addictive about seeking out these flying assassins.
Written by Miguel Santos
Wednesday, 06 May 2020
At first sight, this may look like a humongous macroscopic mutation of the feared virus. However, it is a gall on the cone of a red cedar tree (Juniperus virginiana). Galls are abnormal growths that occur in plants and trees when they get attacked by insects, fungi, bacteria or viruses.
Written by Erin Whitney
Monday, 04 May 2020
Let's get ready for those warmer afternoons and make your own sidewalk chalk! I enjoy the plaster of Paris recipe best because I can keep the chalk I don’t use for next time, but this chalk paint recipe is pretty neat too! Haga clic aquí para encontrar esta información en español. Translated by Angélica Sánchez Mora.
Written by Ethan Bott
Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Co-authored by Jeff Veglahn. Recently in early April, Jeff Veglahn, Land Steward at our Menomonee Valley Branch, spotted a bumble bee flying around and was able to capture an incredible video of it landing on a willow to feed.  This interaction may seem common enough, but after careful identification of the bee, the video became more exciting than initially thought! What was captured on film was actually a Two-spotted Queen Bumble bee which is one of about twenty bumble bee species in Wisconsin. This was the first recorded sighting of a queen bumble bee of any kind in Milwaukee County this year and one of the very first in the state for this year.

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