Do You Love Urban Nature? Then, HKE MKE with the UEC!

Written by Michelle Milford
    Wednesday, 07 September 2022
Do You Love Urban Nature? Then, HKE MKE with the UEC!

What is Urban Nature? 

Urban Ecology is based on the radical idea that nature is everywhere. And, the Center works by engaging communities in restoring critical local ecologies - parks, open spaces, river systems, and more - right where they live. These natural spaces tucked amongst towering buildings and city streets are what we call “Urban Nature”.

Urban nature is a necessity.  As cities continue to grow, natural habitats and biodiversity are rapidly decreasing. However, with proper planning, community support, and dedication to a cause, we can create a city where both people and nature thrive - as evident by the efforts of the Urban Ecology Center and YOU!

Urban Ecology Center’s 8th annual HKE MKE presented by the Rotary Club of Milwaukee raises funds for urban nature while connecting community members to natural resources right in the heart of Milwaukee. 

Benefits of Urban Nature in Milwaukee: 

  • Improves learning and mental performance 
  • Provides a safe place to play and wonder 
  • Encourages environmental stewardship 
  • Inspires sustainable solutions 
  • Builds climate resilience 
  • and brings SO MUCH LIFE to our city! 

0I3A2210How can you help? 

Join us on Sunday, October 9 for 2.5 miles of beautiful hiking trails complete with local vendors, fun activities and fundraising challenges! After registering for HKE MKE, build your own fundraising page and share why you support urban nature with your network! Then, see how many badges & prizes you can earn leading up to HKE MKE.

Remember: 100% of the funds raised through HKE MKE stay in our community and help the Urban Ecology Center support Milwaukee’s urban nature.

Executive Director, Ken Leinbach, invites you to HKE MKE: "The Urban Ecology Center started as a quiet experiment by a group of neighbors over two decades ago; it has since transformed parts of Milwaukee into urban nature havens, providing a safe place for environmental curiosity for all. Our annual HKE MKE is an opportunity for our community to come together and say, "We value and support urban nature". And for new people to say, "Wow! I didn't know urban nature like this existed, but I do now!". I hope you can join us!"

Can’t make it on Sunday, October 9? You can still create a fundraising page to help urban nature!  

What can you expect? 

A past participant had this to say, “HKE MKE opens your eyes to the beauty that is right here in the heart of the city. I have been living here for the past 15 years and it is my first time down some of these trails. If I hadn´t come for this event, I don´t know if I ever would have. HKE MKE has definitely brought exposure to me and my family and I plan to come back. I would invite people to come and see it for the first time. It is amazing what we have here.”

HKE MKE is a family-friendly event.  One family, who we hope to see again this year, raved about their participation:  “This event is so much fun! I brought my kids… and we had a great time. The kids had the chance to play and learn about nature, touch fur and explore fossils, go down the river, pick up bugs and do fun things in nature that we all appreciate.” 

Keep in mind that it is still a hike - we recommend trading the umbrella strollers for a more durable option! 


Some things to look forward to at the finish line

  • Beer from New Belgium Brewing Co. 
  • Food from Twisted Plants, Corn Man & Style Pop Cafe 
  • Adoptable pets from HAWS 
  • Post-hike stretching from Collective Flow 
  • Fire Truck Exploration with the Milwaukee Fire Department 
  • Activity tables from Plastic Free HKE, Reflo, Sherper’s and more!

Need another reason to join us for HKE MKE? 

A closing message from one of our sponsors, Yellow Wood: “UEC does a phenomenal job educating and inspiring the Milwaukee community to embrace, explore, and cultivate the breath-giving nature right in our backyard. For that, we’re so grateful! We hope you enjoy another great year of HKE MKE, Milwaukee!".

Michelle Milford

Michelle Milford

Michelle is UEC's Donor Communications and Events Manager. With a degree in Zoology and Environmental Studies, she began her career as a zookeeper. An American badger remains her favorite animal - having raised one from a cub. After making some difficult professional decisions, Michelle ended up in the nonprofit sector where she’s happily stayed for 8+ years.  Having started in January 2022, she still feels incredibly lucky to be part of the UEC team - a team who, like her, cares deeply about the environment and those, both human and not, that depend on it. When she’s not at the UEC, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband, two young children and their deaf English setter. 


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