About Us

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!

Wednesday, 05 July 2023 06:41

Mental Health and Nature

When I began working at the Urban Ecology Center this summer, I knew spending time in nature made me happy. What I did not expect was how energized I felt after my morning commute through the Oak Leaf Trail, or the sustained focus I had after taking my lunch break outdoors. Was it just in my head, or was this time in nature improving my mental health? 

Thursday, 15 June 2023 15:49

Thank You, Caitlin!

It is with deep gratitude, that we bid farewell to our Forester Caitlin Reinartz. Caitlin's creative and approachable teaching style and leadership will be deeply missed by our staff, volunteers, and community members. Her unwavering passion and positive energy have been a constant source of inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of working with her.

Caitlin's journey with the Urban Ecology Center began over 14 years ago when she joined as a Summer Intern. She soon after became our Bookkeeper. Although she cherished her time at UEC, she recognized that her true calling lay in the great outdoors.

Have you ever found yourself engaging in wishcycling? Wishcycling occurs when we toss an item into the recycling bin, hoping it will magically be recycled, even without proper confirmation of its recyclability. While this act may temporarily ease our guilt, it can actually have adverse effects. Wishcycling introduces non-recyclable materials into the collected recyclable materials, leading to contamination and increased costs of the recycling process. In this blog post, we explore the concept of wishcycling, its consequences, and a UEC's participation in one of Terracycle's recycling programs.

Monday, 06 March 2023 04:54

A Reintroduction of Fire on the Land

This spring the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) will be conducting prescribed burns at our Menomonee Valley, Riverside Park, and Washington Park locations. The burn will occur in partnership with The Prairie Enthusiasts and UEC Land Stewardship staff. 

The natural areas proposed for burning have become dependent on prescribed fires in order to survive and prosper. These prairie and woodland ecosystems need fire in order to return necessary nutrients to the soil, combat invasive species, and remove dead, built-up organic matter. Ideally, lands are burned on a consistent schedule. Land Stewards are responsible for developing a land management plan and enforcing a prescribed burn schedule depending on the ecosystem type. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2023 06:27

People & Culture at the UEC!

Today we are excited to introduce you to the Urban Ecology Center’s newly-named People & Culture team!  This team leads the organization’s work on human resources, internal communications, EDJ (Equity, Dignity, and Justice), Green Career Pathways, and other initiatives related to employee engagement and organizational culture.

Even though we experienced a drastic cold beginning of winter, the temperatures have been mild so far this 2023 with rainy winter weather and no snow on the ground. As winter’s mild weather could be the new normal, at the Urban Ecology Center we plan ahead with a variety of programs that can be enjoyed with or without snow all winter long. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2022 13:11

Tips on Year-End Giving

The final days of 2022 are fast approaching so you may be turning your attention to gifts for family, friends and your favorite non-profits!  While we can’t help you decide what pair of socks to get Uncle Joe, we can help when it comes to end-of-year charitable gift planning!  

Whether you choose to support the UEC or other amazing organizations across our city, use this email as a guide—and don’t forget, December 31 falls on a Saturday this year which may require a little extra planning!

Thursday, 20 October 2022 07:50

“Through a New Lens”

Cameron Flynn is a Photographer, Videographer, and Editor. He recently started volunteering with the Urban Ecology Center taking beautiful video footage of the parks we manage! Read on to learn about his journey and connection to nature and also learn how to volunteer at the UEC!

Friday, 26 August 2022 07:02

Thank you, Kim!

We are so fortunate to have had Kim Forbeck as the Manager of Land Stewardship for 22 years! Today she is officially retiring and we wish her the very best on her new adventures.

Kim has guided our Land Stewardship department as a tireless advocate for green spaces in Milwaukee. Due to her leadership, the UEC has provided a variety of ecologically diverse and resilient spaces for all to enjoy. The biodiversity and access to three distinct public greenspaces within the city of Milwaukee have been genuinely transformed, including two conversions from brownfield rubble, the enhancement of a degraded forest, and the evolution from sterile trees and lawn to an amazing diverse habitat in the middle of the city.

Anyone who lives or has lived in South Eastern Wisconsin can attest that Milwaukee in the summer is a place where everyone and everything thrives. At the Urban Ecology Center, the same applies. Neighborhood Engagement, Community Programs, Summer Camps, Land Stewardship, and many other departments at UEC are in full bloom. The Center needs extra hands during the summer months which is where the help of all the summer interns come into play. With the new excitement and energy that the summer interns bring to UEC, let’s dive into a few of their stories.

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