Steady Change

Written by Willie Karidis
    Wednesday, 05 September 2012
Steady Change

It’s fascinating to watch the place where you work become transformed. The progress can take on many forms -- slow as molasses, steady as an Ornate Box Turtle or fast and furious. No matter at what speed you are moving, visitors inevitably come in and comment, “Wow, it looks so different!” or “You all have been doing so much work!” However, when you are caught up in the day to day, it’s sometimes hard to see the change -- “smell the roses” as it were, along your journey. It was a comment from a regular visitor that caused me to step back and really take a look at what we’ve accomplished.

We are working hard at Washington Park to build a better home for our programs, visitors and animal residents. Through the help of dedicated volunteers, enthusiastic staff and Milwaukee County Parks, the transformation is starting to become real and noteworthy. But by bit we are adding new displays and green features.

The most recent addition to the building is our new Wisconsin Native Animal Room. Thanks to the generosity of long time supporter, Janine Arseneau, we were able to begin construction and will have it completed by the time you read this.

Our new Animal Room will house “Lake Wisconsin”, a 560 gallon fish tank, made possible by the organization Lead2Change and their Dream Big grant. Daniel Rawley, one of our Outdoor Leaders, submitted the grant and won the $5,000 award. “Lake Wisconsin” will greet visitors to the Center and house native species of fish including bowfin, short nosed gar, bluegill, perch and bullhead. In addition, the Wisconsin Native Animal Room will have displays which include different species of frogs, turtles, snakes and salamanders. Sometime in the future, if we are lucky, a little eastern screech owl will be found in the room as well.

We know that the physical changes we are making to the Center will help us continue to deliver quality educational programs. This is what it’s all about. At the end of the day, how many lives have we impacted, what lessons have we taught and what have people learned? Education is a strategic process of meaningful moments. Our new Wisconsin Native Animal Room will help us deliver those moments with more frequency and meaning. It makes all the work worthwhile.

Please visit us during our open hours and take a look for yourself.


Willie Karidis

Willie Karidis

Willie Karidis was born and raised in Milwaukee then took off for Denali National Park, Alaska, spending 25 years enjoying the wilderness of the Big Country. Gold mining in the bush, roofing in the Aleutian Islands and discovering the furthest inland whale in North American history were adventurous days. Working as the Executive Director of the Denali Education Center for 16 years was a time of wonderful exploration. 


Email Sign-Up


* indicates required
Which Emails would you like to receive?

Connect Now

facebook instagram 2018 2 twitter linkedin

Get Involved

Become a member today!

Copyright © 2022 The Urban Ecology Center