“Through a New Lens”

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Thursday, 20 October 2022
“Through a New Lens”

Cameron Flynn is a Photographer, Videographer, and Editor. He recently started volunteering with the Urban Ecology Center taking beautiful video footage of the parks we manage! Read on to learn about his journey and connection to nature and also learn how to volunteer at the UEC!

How did you get introduced to the Urban Ecology Center?

Prior to moving to Milwaukee, I was looking for a city close to nature. Riverside Park and the oakleaf trail blew me away with how the river and the park carved itself right through the city. I was introduced to the Urban Ecology Center by researching the park systems in the area and learned more about the organization through a volunteer orientation.

Are there spaces similar to the Urban Ecology Center in the town you’re from?

I'm originally from Orange County, California and the closest thing we had to the UEC to my knowledge is the OC Parks. Like the UEC, they are committed to managing the land for a thriving outdoor community and they offer many programs for the residents and visitors to enjoy. Screen Shot 2022 10 19 at 12.05.11 PM

What is your relationship with nature like?

My relationship with nature has been very positive starting from a young age. A positive aspect of growing up between two families in my case is that both enjoyed different features of nature. In one family we would go to the beach often and the other we'd go camping or hiking in the hills or mountains in the area. I have many fond memories of smelling the salt in the air while swimming in the ocean or observing the tide pools and camping in the woods with the pungent smell of pines and all the challenges that come with it! Today I see nature as a way to build on current relationships with others and the Earth while also reducing stress.

What do you like most about being able to take video from a different perspective with the drone?

That's just it! It's a different perspective from what we see normally on the ground. When I zoom out far enough in the air, new patterns start to emerge that you or I wouldn't normally see at ground level.

You mentioned that you saw the trails at Menomonee Valley as sort of little veins - mirroring the human form in a way. Can you expand on that? ( ex: do you often see human elements in nature? What other similarities do you see?)

I enjoy seeing the parallels of nature and we're included in the term nature. Networks of fungi and the roots of trees all have paths that branch apart to move nutrients and communicate with each other. The human body is different of course but If you look at images of our vein systems and central nervous systems, they look remarkably similar. On the macro level, we can see the parallels between our trails to the highway and road infrastructure. l believe all systems eventually mimic one another.

Aerial video of Three Bridges Park. Filmed by Cameron Flynn

Why do you think it is important to have these natural spaces in the middle of a city?

I've lived in places in the past where it was difficult to go to a park without a car and on top of that public transportation didn't help at all. Having parks and natural spaces in the middle of a city contributes to the health of everyone and the native animals in the area.

Thanks for capturing this amazing video, Cameron! You can check out more of Cameron’s work here.

There are many ways to volunteer at the Urban Ecology Center! To determine the best fit for your schedule and skills, sign up for one of our virtual volunteer orientations. You'll learn all about the various ways you can help out at the Center and find the volunteer opportunity that best suits your time and talents! 


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!


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