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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!

The High School Outdoor Leader Program is a two-year, environmental career internship for teens who have completed grades 9-10. Outdoor Leaders are trained in 8 areas including education, stewardship, research and community relations. In addition, Outdoor Leaders take two week-long research trips. This year they even organized and ran our 2013 Teen Survival Challenge!

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 15:17

Volunteer Groups in Action: Kohl's Cares

Our executive director Ken Leinbach often says “many hands make light work.” This was certainly the case over the course of this past April. With the help of 400 Kohl’s associates who participated in the Kohl’s National Go Green Event we were able to accomplish more work in one month than we could have even imagined.

We're looking for youth ages 7-13 years old who are interested in science and nature, love learning and playing outside, and enjoy asking questions and discovering answers. The subject for our team's important project? You might recognize them as a kind of striped catepilar, but to scientists they're monarch larvae!

From the Ground Up is an effort to improve job accessibility, science education, environmental and public health, and neighborhood vitality in the Menomonee Valley. It is a story of partnership, creative solutions, and profound impact.

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 15:39

Summer Paddling Series

Before we launch into detail about our Summer Paddling Series, a word on perspective:

“Successful education has the power to make the world strange again. Without any stake in the places where we live, we walk through days in which there are trees but no tree in particular, we drive along roads that could be anywhere, never registering the mountains to the east and lake to the west that determined, in fact, exactly where that route would run. Such casual familiarity is the opposite of intimacy and attentiveness.”

- environmental studies professor John Elder

Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:16

Costa Rica Eco-Travel Trip: Pura Vida!

In December 2003, 14 intrepid travelers embarked on a long-remembered journey. Their destination was Costa Rica, a land of majestic natural beauty, smiling faces and the occasional near hurricane-force winds. At the risk of sounding cliché, words can’t describe the incredible breadth of Costa Rica’s biodiversity, the warmth of the Tico (local) people, or its striking topography. Our group truly embodied the motto of Costa Rica - Pura Vida/Pure Life! - and lived life to the hilt throughout the 10 day tour.
There is so much to share but let's start with the following journal excerpt, culled from pages submitted by trip participant Pat Mueller, which offers a glimpse of one of the more memorable experiences:

Monday, 24 June 2013 09:32

Our Annual Report is Here!

Thanks to you, there is a whole year's worth of accomplishments, discoveries, openings, stories, celebrations and learning to share in our new annual report!  But, printing it on paper and mailing it out didn't align with our goals of being good stewards of the earth and our donors' contributions...

The Urban Ecology Center's Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) is wrapping up it's 13th school year! And our first year at our Menomonee Valley branch. That's 13 years of kids connecting with frogs, birds, turtles, the land, science and each other.

 

In honor of Bike to Work Week, May 13th-18th, we thought we’d offer some tips from our own bike-commuting experts! Many of our staff members bike to work year-round (read about our Eco-Buck program here) and have offered bike commuting tips on gear, all weather riding, safety, hauling stuff and bike security for both novice and expert bikers alike!

Monday, 06 May 2013 09:28

Citizen Science Spring Workshops

The Center's program is really hopping (and swimming and wriggling and flying)! We are monitoring everything from mammals to frogs to moths. We need you! If you are interested in becoming a community scientist and helping us collect data in the park or analyze that data, please attend one of the monitoring workshops listed below. All of the workshops are free and are held at our Riverside Park branch.

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