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Displaying items by tag: Land Stewardship
Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:07

Late Summer Garden Planting

It is harvest time in the garden. Berries and tomatoes are bursting and ready for plucking. The squash have exploded with growth. Lettuce has bolted and is showing its yellow flowers. Have you considered what could replace those plants? It is time to pull out those half-full seed packets. Get ready for a second harvest!

Monday, 01 June 2020 10:16

Community Planting Day Update

Community Planting Day has been held in the Menomonee Valley since 2008. It’s inaugural planting day was organized by Menomonee Valley Partners to help plant and establish native plant communities within Menomonee Valley Community Park. Which at the time was a newly constructed 6-acre rain garden that was designed to retain stormwater from adjacent businesses and help reduce the volume of stormwater entering Menomonee River.

Spring is a time of returning sunshine, new beginnings, and getting our gardens started! While we're enjoying getting outside and preparing gardens now more than ever, we know it's important to be mindful of the critters who have been overwintering in this space. Here's some insight on spring gardening in harmony with native wildlife and plants from Urban Ecology Center Assistant Land Steward Drew Vandegrift.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 11:13

Three Bridges Park: Six Years in the Making

Over the past six years, 24 acres of land near our Menomonee Valley branch were transformed from brownfield to outdoor recreational greenspace along the southern bank of the Menomonee River. Today, people know this area as Three Bridges Park! Where a series of train tracks and piles of rubble once stood, native plant species now flourish and birds, mammals, frogs, toads, butterflies and dragonflies call this park home again. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 14:41

Native Plants: Common witch hazel

Common witch hazel (CWH, Hamamelis virginiana) is hardly common in the wild and even less so in landscaping. In Milwaukee County CWH is only found in a handful of older growth forests. This unique large shrub or small multi-stemmed tree blooms October through November!

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-anglea) is one of the most common native asters and when covered in one inch diameter flowers, it's also one of the showiest. This member of the daisy/sunflower family grows in a variety of soil types and moisture levels and is well adapted to disturbed areas like roadsides and young prairie plantings where it can be a dominant species. 

Monday, 04 June 2018 09:46

Plant Defenses

Plants lack an immune system like that of animals. However, plants have developed their own unique defenses to detect bacteria, fungi, insects, and vertebrate organism invasion and stop them before mortal damage ensues. Tissue structure and chemistry as well as existing ecological relationships between animals and plants contribute to a plant’s defense and disease resistance. Aside from providing plant strength and rigidity, cell walls, waxy or rubbery films covering leaf and stem tissue, and bark all perform as physical barriers to invasion.

Thursday, 17 May 2018 10:14

See For Yourself - Restoring Ecosystems

Your support allows the Urban Ecology Center’s Land Stewardship team to improve habitat on over 70 acres of urban land, vastly expanding opportunities for outdoor science and recreation.

The UEC is restoring ecosystems which support more wildlife and create healthy outdoor classrooms where urban children, families, and residents can learn about their natural environment. Here’s how!

A good researcher performs many roles — observer, record keeper, historian and the like. But one of our favorites is storyteller. You may have heard about how the UEC heals the land through thousands of hours from land stewardship volunteers and staff pulling nonnative plants, planting natives and preventing erosion. Often the results of these efforts are easy to see.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 16:07

Plant Anatomy & Physiology Course

When I first started learning about plants, I had a lot of questions. How does a tree gets water from deep in the ground all the way up to leaves 160 feet in the air? How are plants able to survive cold winters like this one? How do seeds know when to germinate in the spring? Why are most plants green anyway? Why not blue or pink or black? Do plants communicate with one another? How do plants defend themselves from attack by insects? Whew! That's a lot of stuff to learn! The more I dug into this (no pun intended), the more I discovered how amazing, adaptable, and beautiful plants can be.

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