Menu

About Us

Urban Ecology Center

Urban Ecology Center

At the Urban Ecology Center, we get people of all ages outside and active every single day!  We foster ecological understanding as inspiration for change, neighborhood by neighborhood.  Read more about us here!

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Rachel Nielsen to the role of Director of Finance and Operations!

“In addition to teaching through the Peace Corps and at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Rachel will bring years of finance and operations experience from the corporate world,” said Ken Leinbach, Executive Director at the Urban Ecology Center. “We are excited to bring her broad experience and expertise to our team.”

Nielsen comes to the Urban Ecology Center from Rockwell Automation where she was the Global Finance Manager, Low Voltage Motor Control Center Business. Throughout her career, Nielsen has held finance and operations positions at Rockwell and Best Buy.

“The Urban Ecology Center has such a strong reputation within the Milwaukee community, I am thrilled to be a part of it,” said Nielsen. “I am excited to leverage my experience as a strategic financial leader in multiple industries to help advance the Urban Ecology Center's mission in this exciting time.”

Friday, 01 March 2019 15:31

From Volunteer to Vet School

As a volunteer, Camoya remembers, “The first thing they had us do was canoe…and I’ve never canoed before. I was really nervous and it was completely out of my comfort zone. But they were like ‘you can do it, you can do it!’”

“The staff were very encouraging. So we got in the canoe and we canoed the lagoon. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had here.” From Camoya’s first introduction to the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center as a youth volunteer in 2014 to her years in the High School Outdoor Leader program and then acceptance to college in the fall of 2018, we’ve loved being a part of this amazing young woman’s journey!

Thursday, 28 February 2019 15:11

Story of a Young Scientist

Because of your support, our next generation of environmental scientists is growing. Up and out the door at 6 a.m., Analiese is ready to dive into the latest Community Science research project at the Urban Ecology Center! It’s not how you’d expect an 11-year-old might start her day. But for Analiese, walking a few doors down to the UEC at daybreak was a weekly routine during the summer of 2018.

As Black History Month draws to a close, our Equity, Dignity, and Justice team at the Urban Ecology Center wanted to highlight some of the black folks who have shaped, led, and grown the environmental movement. The faces associated with environmentalism in our societal storytelling are often white ones, but in reality black (and brown) folks have been caring for and protecting our environment throughout human history. Here are some black environmental leaders we love:

Thursday, 06 December 2018 12:49

Reuse, Recycle, Recommit!

Whether you are one of the more than 100 million Amazon Prime members or an avid in-store purchaser, the holidays can rack up a lot of extra cardboard and packaging material quickly. Here’s how to spread holiday cheer while keeping Mother Earth in mind. Let's commit to a more earth-friendly holiday season!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 15:03

Costa Rica 2019

costarica1

Costa Rica 2019: Charismatic Megafauna!

We are excited to offer an eco-travel expedition to explore the amazing biodiversity and unique cultural history of the Republic of Costa Rica! With the largest percentage of protected areas of any country and plans to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, the New Economics Foundation rated Costa Rica as the greenest country in the world. The wildlife in Costa Rica is also extraordinary - did you know that Costa Rica is home to as many as 225 mammals and 913 species of birds?

Speaking of wildlife, this is the Urban Ecology Center’s first time leading a trip to Costa Rica in the summer to take advantage of two magical wildlife spectacles:

First, we will be witness to the breeding grounds of Humpback Whales that spent the winter near Antarctica and are now returning to tropical waters to give birth to the calves that have been developing inside them all year.

seaturtle

Second, we will be present along the Caribbean Coast during the sea turtle nesting season as they return to their natal beaches to give birth. These are two natural events you will not want to miss!

And when we’re not looking for these two wonders, we’ll explore the amazing natural areas and biodiversity that bring visitors from around the world, while also looking into social and economic forces that contribute to some of the best examples of sustainability on a national level.

Reserve your spot today!

costarica

Can you spot the crocodile in this shot? Photo: Global Water Forum

When

August 1-12, 2019 (12 days, 11 nights)

Highlights

  • Tortuguero National Park during turtle nesting season: a unique area where the primary avenues of exploring are the many naturally-formed canals through primary rainforest. This area was preserved primarily to protect sea turtles and jaguars.
  • Tirimbina, an 850-acre, mid-elevation rainforest with a strong focus on environmental education.
  • Visiting Arenal: volcano, hot springs, and a chocolate tour (what more could you want?!)
  • Whale watching tour at Marino Ballena National Park
  • Wilson Botanical Garden, to see one of the largest plant collections on the world
  • Visiting the Paramo, the highest elevation tropical ecosystem

Itinerary

  • Click here for a sample of our itinerary!

arenal volcano blog size

Arenal Volcano, where you'll relax in hot springs, enjoy a chocolate tour, and more!

Cost

The price for this 12-day trip is (all-inclusive except for airfare):

$3375 for single occupancy

$2,595 for double occupancy 

$1600 for children sharing a room with an adult

Click here to pay your deposit and reserve a spot


If you are interested in this trip, have questions, or would like more information, contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505


The Urban Ecology Center Eco-travel program offers a unique way to explore local and international destinations while exploring issues around sustainability. Your participation supports the Urban Ecology Center’s mission.

Top photo by Carlos Roberto Chavarría

Thursday, 12 July 2018 17:12

See for Yourself - Green Career Pipeline

Your support helps the Urban Ecology Center’s Green Career Pipeline program develop urban leaders with the commitment and the capability to move our community towards a more sustainable future.

Our Green Career Pipeline program starts with school field trips and our Young Scientist Club after-school program, then leads to our High School Outdoor Leader program, which provides two years of job training and paid positions throughout the UEC. Afterwards, students can continue along the path with our paid summer intern programs.

This pathway prepares young people for future employment at organizations with an environmental focus, or even here at the UEC!

Thursday, 17 May 2018 10:14

See For Yourself - Restoring Ecosystems

Your support allows the Urban Ecology Center’s Land Stewardship team to improve habitat on over 70 acres of urban land, vastly expanding opportunities for outdoor science and recreation.

The UEC is restoring ecosystems which support more wildlife and create healthy outdoor classrooms where urban children, families, and residents can learn about their natural environment. Here’s how!

At the Urban Ecology Center, we work towards making nutritious, healthy food accessible to everyone in our communities. Thanks to your support, our food programs have made a huge impact in helping hundreds of people in Milwaukee learn about and experience real, sustainable food. Here’s how!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:40

Let's Go Snowshoeing!

Have you ever been snowshoeing before? If not, now may be the perfect time to give it a try! We've had wonderful weather for winter adventures lately, and every branch has been bustling with people of all ages borrowing snowshoes and hitting the trails. The amount of snow on the ground right now at all three of our locations is ideal for snowshoeing - we recommend around 6" to a foot (or more!) of snow. 

Page 1 of 12

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

ROOT - Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Friday, May 24th

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

More Details...

Washington Park Young Scientist Club

Washington Park

Friday, May 24th

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

More Details...

Find event

Connect

Email Sign-Up

Subscribe

* indicates required
Which Emails would you like to receive?

Connect Now

facebook instagram 2018 2 twitter linkedin

Get Involved

Become a member today!

Copyright © 2019 The Urban Ecology Center. Website by Savvy Panda.