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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!

Looking for some fun, kid-friendly nature-related activities this spring? We're here to help! The activities below can be adapted for kids of all ages and will work well while self distancing.

Many thanks to Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan for this list.

(Contenido en español también)

Tuesday, 31 March 2020 03:08

Staff Picks: Local Natural Areas to Enjoy

As we all practice remaining “safer at home,” we are grateful for the many beautiful Milwaukee County Parks and other green spaces. Going outside for walks, hikes, bike rides, bird watching, and other activities can be done while using appropriate social distancing measures. We encourage you to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding us and the wonder of this transitional season. Here are some excellent recommendations from our staff on local, accessible natural areas where you can enjoy nature right now:

April 28 Update:

Our branches remain closed to the public, and onsite programming is suspended, in compliance with the Governor’s Safer at Home Order. We look forward to reopening our branches and resuming onsite programs when permitted under Wisconsin’s Badger Bounce Back Plan. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy the outdoors (with safe social distancing), and please enjoy the virtual offerings we’re providing through Urban Ecology Center in My Backyard.

Saturday, 02 November 2019 17:31

My Volunteering Story: Dennis Grzezinski

We are excited to share this special piece by Urban Ecology Center (UEC) Board Director Dennis Grzezinski. Dennis has been volunteering at the UEC almost since its inception and has had a huge role in getting us to where we are today. We are proud of his accomplishments and thrilled that he continues to be such a strong UEC advocate.

Dennis was our pick for Volunteer of the Month in November 2019. We often ask our volunteers to list the experiences they've had at UEC and he wrote the article below that is part autobiography, part UEC history, and completely heartwarming. Thank you, Dennis, for everything you do!

The Urban Ecology Center is an environmental community center with the mission to connect people in cities to nature and each other. Our members are a key component of this mission and an example that everyone can join together in this endeavor. With your help, we connect kids to local green spaces through school partnerships, to environmental science through internships, and to sustainable learning opportunities. This valued support also allows us to protect and enhance public green spaces to make them safe, accessible and vibrant for everyone. In addition to contributing support to our mission, Besides giving to us, members receive unique benefits that help them to be an active, engaged, healthy and eco-conscious member of our community.

Monday, 01 July 2019 01:07

Welcome our New Managing Director!

We are excited to announce that Ed Krishok is joining our leadership team as managing director in a new limited term role, for a two-year period as the organization begins transitions related to growth plans in Milwaukee. Ed begins the managing director role on July 1. Ken Leinbach, executive director, will remain in his role and concentrate on specific activities related to the long-term growth and financial sustainability of Urban Ecology Center.

This adjustment in leadership roles sets the stage for future growth at UEC.

Managing inventory for our gift shop is always a tricky game. Sometimes we order too little and run out of items that people really want. Sometimes we order too much and have inventory sitting on the shelf for too long.
That’s why we’re trying a new approach to selling UEC merchandise and building in a discount for YOU!

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.

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