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Displaying items by tag: Membership

It was the best “wild ice” for skating that I have found in years. A vast expanse of smooth-as-glass clear ice made not by a Zamboni, but by Mother Nature herself. And perhaps the biggest surprise of all? This “secret gem” wasn’t some hidden lake up state, but it was right here, in the shadow of the US Bank building downtown. I’ve been here over 20 years now and I still keep finding the unexpected. This is why I LOVE living in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

More Skis, More Options, More Fun in the Snow!

Whenever I talk about my job at the Urban Ecology Center, I always mention three things:

  1.  The amazing work we do helping kids and adults get outside to enjoy nature and learn about science in an urban environment.
  2.  The awesome community of staff members and volunteers that I'm privileged to work with.
  3.  Our equipment lending benefit.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 00:00

Share Your Adventure!

Last summer, my eight year old son Benjamin and I borrowed a tandem kayak from the Urban Ecology Center for an overnight camping trip on the Wisconsin River. Thanks to a shuttle service through the Wisconsin Canoe Company, we were able to park our car 18 miles downstream from our starting point. Our goal was to stop at one of the many sandbar islands on the Wisconsin River to pitch our tent and finish the trip in two days. In order to pump Benjamin up for the trip, I talked about our awesome adventure for weeks in advance… little did I know just how exciting it was going to be!

Friday, 03 October 2014 00:00

Check This Out: Lawn Sports Edition

Autumn is upon us, but that doesn't mean you have to stop borrowing summer equipment from the Urban Ecology Center. Members of the Urban Ecology Center have unlimited access to a variety of tools and games to help keep you active all year round. Take advantage of the beautiful weather while it's still here!

Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00

#UECMembers Find Oasis in Washington Park

On a line of rope tied between two trees in Washington Park, six brown paper bags jumped in the wind. Two-year-old Lilli Morby stood with her father, Josh, and watched with wonder as a member of the Urban Ecology Center’s Community Science team took down one of the bags, put in a hand and pulled out a calmed songbird. The researcher weighed and banded the bird, identified its gender and a new family memory was made.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00

A Story of Becoming a #UECmember!

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Jozlynne Zbichorski (pronounced Spee-or-ski), learned about the Urban Ecology Center several years ago. Both of her parents are public school teachers at Milwaukee Public Schools (Jozlynne is also going to UW-Milwaukee for a teaching certification) and she had lived next to Riverside Park for several years. However, she had never considered becoming a member of the Center until this summer when she and her boyfriend tried to plan a kayak trip down the Milwaukee River.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 00:00

Our Stories

“Ken, in addition to our gift for your early childhood program, we are also interested in giving you a little extra to write a book. We think that the story of the Urban Ecology Center is an inspirational one that needs to be told.”

Wow! How cool is that? This remarkable, unsolicited gift came last year from a foundation that had just started their support. However, it has not been until very recently that we have actually figured out how to carve out the necessary time to put a book together. I mean, really, how do you even start?

Well, in typical Urban Ecology Center fashion we’d like to start with you!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:41

The Power of the Outdoors

We believe in the power of the outdoors. We believe that all work and no play makes us all a little dull and that the antidote for the monotony of routine is to go outside. We believe that paddling, biking, fishing, camping, hiking and/or playing outside are essential elements of a healthy lifestyle. We believe that nature is everywhere- even in the city- and that adventure can literally be found right in your backyard. We believe that fun doesn’t have to be expensive or accessible to only a few lucky people. We believe it so much that we can taste it as fresh as the spring air.  We can’t wait to get out of the office, home or car to stretch our legs. Are you with us? Then do we have a deal for you!

Fifteen years ago a movie cost you on average $4.50 (now $8.20), a gallon of gas cost $1.06 (now $3.75), a dozen eggs went for $1.09 (now $2.50) and an Urban Ecology Center membership cost $25 (still $25). What? The crazy thing is that while our membership rates remained the same for 15 years, our offerings increased by at least a factor of ten if not a hundred! 15 years ago we had only one center — a single, double-wide trailer in the then run-down Riverside Park. Our lending program consisted of just a few canoes and our program offerings, while always of the highest quality, represented just a fraction of the number of what we can offer now.

On a bright, cheery Tuesday morning, I met Dan, Sherri, Josiah, and Tirzah Jibson at the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley Branch. Immediately, I saw a glimpse of each family member’s unique personality through their independent engagement with other Center visitors. Dan sat in a circle with the morning Bird Walk group, listening carefully while sharing a huge smile and kind laugh. Sherri chatted and sipped hot chocolate with another birder and Center member, Carolyn Vargo. Josiah and Tirzah each played with Carolyn’s young grandchildren, who clearly loved the individual attention they were receiving from the older Jibson kids. Even though these interactions were separate, a shared glow of patience, grace, and serenity emanated from each of the Jibsons that clearly united them as family.

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