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!

We are overwhelmed by your support for the Urban Ecology Center's 7th annual Summer Solstice Soiree.  

The Riverside Park branch was full of energy as we celebrated nature in the heart of the city and we are grateful for the generosity of our guests, sponsors, board of directors, friends and volunteers!

Everyone, no matter their age, can teach, help and learn at the Urban Ecology Center! See for yourself how older adults through teens are mentoring Summer Campers and students who will in turn be the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

Research shows two things make a person environmentally aware – constant contact with nature early in life and a mentor who demonstrates positive behavior toward the environment. With this research in mind, we train interns to be mentors to high schoolers, who in turn become mentors to our Summer Campers.

Come in today to see how your whole family can learn, work and grow at our Center. 

Construction to rebuild and stabilize a section of bluff will be starting Monday May 12th around 7:30 a.m. The construction is expected to continue until the end of the month. The area that is being worked on is just south of the Locust St. bridge where the bluff washed out by flooding in summer 2010.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 10:00

Burn Baby Burn!

At the end of April, we conducted prescribed burns at both our Washington Park and Riverside Park locations. With the help from Dare Ecosystem Management and Urban Ecology Center staff, we were able to conduct a restoration by fire that took place over the prairie, savannah and oak woodland areas. This was the third burn in Riverside Park and the first burn in Washington Park. This successful technique knocked back the invasive species and allowed a more diverse range of native species to emerge.  Check out this video to see great photos and video footage of the burn and learn more about the benefits of a prescribed burn from an interview with Caitlin, one of our land stewards, who was on the scene to help!

Since we've declared April to be Earth Month, we're celebrating different earth-related themes all month long. This week, let's take a look at our Washington Park branch theme, FOOD.  Because who doesn't love food?  Read on for a fun perspective on Learning Gardens from Washington Park's branch manager, Willie. Additionally, Erick, Washington Park's Community Program Coordinator, provides some foolproof tips and tricks for how YOU can start up and maintain your own garden at home!  

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 13:20

A Video Message from Willie in Alaska

Our Washington Park branch manager, Willie Karidis is leading an eco-travel trip to Alaska in September. Since he is there visiting friends right now he created this little video inviting you to come with him in September. Doesn't it look great?


Monday, 10 March 2014 18:07

See for Yourself - Sustainable Food

Connecting people with both their community and their environment is at the heart of what we do. One of the ways we accomplish this is through sustainable food programs like these!

“Who knew potatoes could be so thrilling,” says Barb Finch, a member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm from Milwaukee. “I grew up eating mashed or boiled potatoes every day, they weren’t that interesting. The potatoes I get in my CSA box are so full of flavor. The Yukon Golds and Reds are incredible. I could never go back to buying a potato from a grocery store again.”

Even poor college students can afford to eat well. Jamie Ferschinger belonged to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm through most of her college career and doesn’t ever “remember it being a hardship.” “I love to cook and I always had friends around to eat what I cooked. I got a smaller share so it wasn’t an overwhelming amount of food,” says Ferschinger. She eventually became a drop site for her CSA and it opened up a whole new demographic for the farmer – college kids.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 12:34

From the Farm to Their Table - The Meer Family

“It’s like having Christmas every week!” says Lindy Meer of Milwaukee about being a member of a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) farm. “Our children are always very eager to open the box and see what has arrived. John Paul, the 8-year-old, loves opening the box because of all the crazy vegetables like the mutant carrots and massive cabbages or club-like summer squash. I also don't think that a pint of raspberries has lasted for more than 1.5 minutes after opening.”


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