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Urban Ecology Center

Urban Ecology Center

At the Urban Ecology Center, we connect people in cities to nature and each other. Read more about us here!

Monday, 31 August 2020 16:29

Nocturnal Migrators

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.

Monday, 17 August 2020 16:15

Like Moths To A Flame

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, 07 July 2020 11:09

Yardversity Blitz

"Become a community scientist by exploring the biodiversity in your very own backyard!"

Back in May, the Urban Ecology Center hosted the Backyard Birding Blitz as a way to encourage you to go outside, stay connected to nature and to collectively compile the largest bird species list without the use of fossil fuels all virtually!. This time we are expanding this event to include all biodiversity, called “Yardversity Blitz!” Through the Yardversity Blitz, you will have the chance to become a community scientist through the exploration of the flora and fauna found in your very own backyard! This event will be completely virtual with plant and animal-themed discussions, family-friendly activities, all while you collect data outside. The Yardversity Blitz will end with a nature-themed trivia session. This event will take place on Saturday, July 18th from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CST -- view complete schedule below.

Saturday, 30 May 2020 17:57

Bingo Sets

Can you win BINGO by finding the items on the cards below? 

Click on image to find the full, downloadable card.

Leaves of Trees BINGO card English

Summer is a prime time for catching and observing zipping dragonflies! In Wisconsin alone, there are 164 species of dragonfly and damselfly. Each one of these species not only has unique iridescent coloring to their thoraxes and abdomens but distinctive wings that are unique to each dragonfly. Scientists have been surveying dragonflies since the 1800s but their migratory patterns are still not fully understood and it is difficult for scientists to survey entire states without the help of the community. In recent years, the popularity of community science projects has allowed members of the community to participate in collecting data. Participating in dragonfly/damselfly surveying helps scientists study and conserve these mysterious shimmering odonates. 

Wednesday, 01 April 2020 18:55

We Miss You -- Coloring Page

WE MISS YOU and look forward to taking you on in-person adventures!

In the meantime, let’s find creative ways to connect! Click here or on the image below for a full-sized coloring page for kids and adults alike! Show your coloring skills and love for connecting to nature by placing your masterpiece in your window. We’d also love to see your creation! Use #UECinmybackyard when you post on social media.

Coloring page

Thursday, 18 June 2020 13:37

Gradual Restarting: On-site and Online

Hello UEC Community,

Based on COVID 19 public health indicators and our own internal preparedness, we are entering into a phase of our gradual restarting plan that allows us to offer some additional onsite programming. With rigorous cleaning practices, regular health screening, PPE, and social distancing measures in place, here are the programs we are running or preparing for:

Our Equity, Dignity, and Justice staff group prepared this message on behalf of the Urban Ecology Center:

We are heartbroken over the murder of George Floyd, the killing of Joel Acevedo, and the countless others who have been discriminated against, harassed, assaulted, and killed because of the color of their skin. We strive to create a world where people of color are able to live without fear of harassment and violence.

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