Making the Most of February

Written by Mike Larson
    Monday, 01 February 2021
Making the Most of February

I’ve always thought that February feels like the longest month of the year. I know technically it’s the shortest, but after two months of winter cold and a lack of sunshine, the novelty of winter has worn off, and February’s ruthless assault of cold weather gets old fast. I always felt trapped inside my house while waiting for warmer weather when I could go finally enjoy the outdoors again.

Then I joined the Urban Ecology Center. The community here has a shocking enthusiasm for getting outdoors - even in the long stretches of February!

I tried cross country skiing for the first time, explored the parks with snowshoes, ice skated on a frozen pond, and even went sledding with my colleagues on occasion. I found the key to winter doldrums was to actively embrace the cold and the snow and enjoy it. Time flies while you’re having fun, and I now feel like February goes by rather quickly. I find myself hoping that the snow will last just one weekend more and that we’ll get another cold snap that will freeze the lagoon thick enough to go ice skating once more.

IMG 3664If you haven’t yet learned to enjoy winter sports in Wisconsin, this is the year to do it. With so many of our favorite indoor activities being cancelled or ruled out during the pandemic, spending time alone or with close friends outside on a pair of skis may be just the thing you need! Luckily the Urban Ecology Center is ready to deliver and help you enjoy the outdoors all February long.

• Just learning? Our Ski and Snowshoe 101 courses are popular and fill quickly, but also provide an excellent starting point for the novice skier or Florida transplant trying to survive a Wisconsin winter for the first time.

• If you prefer a more intimate gathering, our Community Programs staff are offering private lessons for you and up to three others to get 1:1 instruction and polish your skill

• If you already are comfortable using the equipment and just want to enjoy it on your own, members of the Urban Ecology Center can borrow any of our outdoor adventure equipment and enjoy it themselves for free.

• The more adventurous among you will love our Pop-Up Excursions, spontaneous outings to enjoy the winter outdoors right after a freshly fallen snow and when the weather is just right.


Last but not least, to celebrate winter sports, our team has put together a series of how-to videos that will teach you how to pick out and put on gear and let you know exactly what you can expect when you try a new winter sport. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks to learn more. I hope you consider trying something new and getting outside more this winter than you ever have before!

Photos by Maris Dishno.


Mike Larson

Mike Larson

Mike is a happily married man living with his family in Milwaukee. As a young child he spent days playing along the banks of the Rock River, fostering a love for nature which eventually led him to study biology and pursue a career with the Urban Ecology Center. He enjoys connecting people with nature through his role as the Community Programs Manager. He hopes that the work he does can help make it possible for his two sons and other kids in Milwaukee to grow up with similar experiences to those he had as a child.


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