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, 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.”

Sometimes changing one small thing can have a huge impact. Curiosity about where her food came from and who was growing it led Anne Steinberg from a passive consumer to a food activist. After participating in a course on sustainable living at the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) about nine years ago, Steinberg decided to try to change just one thing in her life to be more sustainable. She started buying fair trade coffee. Since it was easy enough to change what she was drinking, she decided to change what she was eating, so she became a member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Having a connection to where and how her food was grown opened her eyes to a food system she had not given much thought to before.

Monday, 30 December 2013 11:54

See for Yourself -- Our Awe Inspiring Donors

We are so grateful for our awesome donors! 3,257 people helped keep the Center operating last year, contributing $857,645! From having a wedding at one of our branches to donating 2,000 assorted bird books, our supporters helped us get people outdoors and connected to nature. But don't just take our word for it -- See for yourself! See how you supported our mission last year.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 12:09

Becoming a Change Agent: Elise's Story

Elise Wirkus is one determined young lady! “I want to make progressive environmental change more approachable to people. I want to be the person people think of when they decide to recycle or to compost, or even something as big as choosing a more complicated, but more environmentally sound business plan.” Now a junior at UW-Madison, Elise is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Legal Studies, with the intention of going to law school someday, and eventually working on behalf of the environmental issues and causes that have become sincere passions of hers.

If you visit the Menomonee Valley branch at the Urban Ecology Center on a Tuesday or Thursday, you’ll be enthusiastically greeted by either Carlos Vazquez or Gustavo Mayorga at the reception desk. These two 16 year-olds know just about as much about the Urban Ecology Center as any of our staff, but you might be surprised to find out that they are volunteer interns from Carmen High School of Science and Technology. In fact, when you see them at the Center, they’re actually in school!

Carlos and Gustavo are both juniors, and in their sophomore year, they were selected for the school’s internship program. Now they spend one day a week volunteering at a local business or organization with the goal of learning professional skills—and the Urban Ecology Center was lucky enough to be their placement! While these two are invaluable resources to us, their involvement at the Urban Ecology Center has also enabled them to experience new opportunities and has impacted the way they think about the future.

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 16:35

IT Specialist

This part-time, 20 hour/week, position is responsible for directly supporting the organization's hardware and software needs and day to day IT projects. A significant part of this role is to maintain the server, workstations, and other technology at all locations, including routine backups. The position coordinates the efforts of IT consultants, works independently and collaboratively with other staff.

Requirements for the position include a Bachelor's or Associate's degree in Management Information Systems, computer science, or a related field, or equivalent experience in a technology-related field; a minimum of 2 years of work in a technology-related role, strong familiarity with personal computer hardware and software, experience managing Microsoft Server 2008, and Exchange. SQL and terminal services are highly desired. Strong interpersonal skills, ability to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical individuals, strong team focus, a high level of initiative, ability to effectively set priorities, and an interest in continuing to learn to stay current are all important in this position.

This position will work at all three branches. The pay starts at $15.00 an hour.

Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2013.

Check out the announcement and job description for this position.


Click here to apply.


 Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws including: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Bird Walks (Riverside Park)

Riverside Park

Thursday, December 5th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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ROOT - Menomonee Valley - Cancelled

Menomonee Valley

Thursday, December 5th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

More Details...

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