Milwaukee Urban Ecology Blog

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.
Written by Danny Pirtle
Sunday, 26 April 2020
At the Urban Ecology Center, education is a cornerstone of our work, our mission, and our impact on the city of Milwaukee. We strive to use education as a tool to form deeper connections with the natural world around us. So as you might imagine, it was a little jarring for me when I realized that I had inadvertently been sharing misinformation when educating the public about one of our resident turtles, Marty. This is a story of a case of mistaken identity. A few weeks ago, I posted a video introducing the world to Marty.
Written by Glenna Holstein
Thursday, 23 April 2020
As we hope you’ve seen, the Urban Ecology Center has been putting together lots of great resources for you to create your own “UEC in My Backyard” –if you haven’t had a chance to explore those activities yet, definitely check them out! But today, I want to bring the UEC right into your living room!  We have a really amazing art show up at our Menomonee Valley branch, and I was so sad thinking of that beautiful art hanging there with no one to look at it that I thought I’d bring it to you! 
Written by Annie Ela
Thursday, 23 April 2020
I don’t know about you, but sitting still has been hard for me these days, even though it’s the first chance in a while I’ve had the time to do so. If you have the time and space too, why not use it to slow down, watch spring emerge, and reflect on the ways life has changed? I know, I know, easier said than done. The best way I’ve found to do this so far? Keeping a journal.
Written by Alex LaBonte
Tuesday, 21 April 2020
Co-authored by Madeline Karian. Just because we’re stuck inside doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Here are five easy ways that you can celebrate the Earth with your children: Plant some easy to grow herbs like basil, cilantro or mint. Put soil into a planting pot and keep the seeds on your windowsill or in a sunny spot. Don’t forget to water them every day! If you don’t have a planting pot, you can use an old milk jug cut in half or plastic juice jug. In a few weeks you’ll have fresh herbs to incorporate into your next meal.

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