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Displaying items by tag: Menomonee Valley

Our habitat restoration efforts and research projects really go hand-in-hand. As we restore the land, we discover more and more mammals, birds, insects and amphibians using our parks. Our studies also help to determine the number of native plant species we’ve added that have “taken root” and are continuing to grow. Here are just a few highlights you can find.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 00:00

Art in the Menomonee Valley

SWAN Day MKE 2018: “Women and Nature: Nourishing Our Roots"
March - May 2018

Artists from all over Milwaukee celebrate the power and diversity of women’s creativity at SWAN Day MKE 2018 (Support Women Artists Now), an exhibition that is part of the International 11th Annual Support Women Artists Now Day!

This exhibit features over one-hundred women and woman-identified artists of ALL ages, ALL disciplines and ALL levels of artistic experience residing in Milwaukee and surrounding area that were invited to be part of an inclusive, informal, non-juried show.

The 2018 theme is “Women and Nature: Nourishing Our Roots.” For this unique show, artists were asked to think about the following prompts & make a piece that navigates one or all thoughts, practices places or concepts:

• Reflect on how and where the natural world plays a role in influencing your physical/emotional creative reserves, subject matter, concepts, visualizations,meditations or use of materials (ie eco-friendly/recycled/found object/organic matter/installation).

• What environments or elements provide a place of inspiration and/or perspiration so you are fueled physically, mentally and/or spiritually to make your best work?

• Does nourishment come from environmental activism and learning, or perhaps you find flow investigating the macro-level patterns in science?

• Do you connect with nature in the everyday/family traditions of cooking food, using healing herbal remedies and practicing your faith, or do you expand beyond this realm and wonder about the cosmos?

SWAN Day Predators digital collage by Laur Wiech Design

Laur Wiech Design
Predators Digital Collage


Kathleen Walter: Human <> Nature
June - August 2018

From the artist: My work is reflective of the synergistic connections I see between man and nature. I am interested in the ever-widening concentric circles of connectedness between all things on earth and beyond. My investigations have brought me to a realization of the commonality of many systems in nature and the manmade world and the similarity of mythologies and metaphors surrounding both realms. The maps that are part of much of my collage work have become the symbol for our human need to control and contain nature. (A theme that seems to have a louder voice in the present culture.) The messages that nature is sending into the universe are being silenced by ignorance and fear and threatening the existence of human life on earth. The intent of my work is to bring a moment of reflection to the fabric of nature of which humans are a part.

Water the Breath of Gaia.JPG vertical

Water the Breath of Gaia


Changing Our World Through Art: The Work of Escuela Verde's Youth Artivists
September – November 2018

In Escuela Verde's Art Club, we use our artistic skills and voices to work for change in our community. The work in this show speaks out about issues ranging from climate change and environmental racism to immigration reform and gender inequality.

IMG 9679

Escuela Verde's Art Club

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

Hide and Seek

It was 5pm on a late fall, Friday evening and I was enjoying a cup of hot chocolate at the Menomonee Valley branch’s reception desk. A group of our regular youth visitors were running around the building as it was too dark outside to explore Three Bridges Park and they were having too much fun to go home. It was a quiet evening, perfect for kids to just hang out and be themselves in our safe community center. I couldn’t see anybody around, but I could hear little feet moving fast.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015 00:00

The Intersection of Ecology and Art

“I realized I truly wanted to study ecology – a seed that was planted during my time at [the Urban Ecology Center] but took a few years to sprout.”

This is the opening line of an email from a former High School Outdoor Leader, Robby Friedlen, to Riverside Park Branch Manager, Jamie Ferschinger. He was eager to share the reason behind his decision to shift his research studies to “the intersection of ecology – through the lens of permaculture – and the arts.” As a High School Outdoor Leader in 2009, Robby spent a portion of his summer working with internationally known artist Roy Staab.

Students can be scientists? It's true! In another story of "impossibles made possible" by your support of the Urban Ecology Center, we're taking at look at our Young Scientists Club and their participation in the University of Minnesota's Driven to Discover program!

Sunday, 01 November 2015 01:00

Welcome to Our New Staff

We’ve seen quite a bit of transition over the past couple of months and we’d like to introduce you to some of our fantastic new staff members!

In no particular order, here are the staff who have been newly hired or recently promoted to a new role:

Amy LaMacchia is our new Donor Relations Manager. Lianna Bishop was promoted to the new role of Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager. Brittany Peters was promoted to Membership and Development Systems Coordinator. Chris Steinkamp is our new Evaluation Coordinator but don’t worry, he will continue his half-time Volunteer Coordinator role at Menomonee Valley as he adds this new half-time role. Shameka Tyler is now the full-time Human Resources Specialist. Kirsten Maier is a full-time Environmental Educator at Riverside Park. Emily Bablitch is a new full-time Environmental Educator at Washington Park. Jaime Cano is the new Visitor Services Specialist at the Menomonee Valley. Davita Flowers-Shanklin has two new roles. She is the Volunteer Coordinator at Washington Park as well as our Development Specialist. Martha Sudermann is joining us this year as our Lutheran Volunteer Corps intern, serving as a Community Program Educator. Francis Sullivan is our new Community Program Assistant. Alex LaBonte joins us an Environmental Educator working at both Riverside Park and Washington Park.

Last, but not least, we are pleased to announce that the Urban Ecology Center has two new directors! Jen (Feltz) Hense is our Director of Development and Jeff McAvoy is our Director of Marketing and Communications. These two fantastic individuals have joined our Leadership Team and are helping to make key decisions that will shape the future of the Urban Ecology Center. Click here to learn more about these new Directors.

With a larger leadership team, a full staff of brilliant and enthusiastic individuals, and thousands of dedicated and inspiring volunteers, we are well poised for future success!

Thursday, 29 October 2015 01:00

You DO Live Here

This time of year always gets me thinking about gratitude (I probably say that every November). This year, I want to share a story that perfectly captured for me why I’m so grateful to be a part of this work, and why I’m grateful for the support of so many people that make this work possible.

Last spring, I had the opportunity to teach a 3rd grade Neighborhood Environmental Education Project class at our Menomonee Valley branch. It was a glorious late spring day—sunny with just that faintest taste of summer coming around the corner.

“An oasis in a city to learn about nature and teach kids about nature.”

This is what one community forum participant said about our Menomonee Valley branch when asked how he would describe the Urban Ecology Center to a friend. Another said “It is a place to have fun and laugh.” And when asked about challenges we can help address in the neighborhood, we heard that we should continue to “increase safety along the bike path,” provide more “options for kids in the neighborhood,” and perhaps add programs to help address “balanced nutrition … Kids eat unhealthy foods.”

Monday, 26 October 2015 01:00

Do the Extra-ordinary!

Do you remember those little gift books you used to give as a kid? You’d spend hours, carefully creating hand-made “coupons” for someone special. The promise was to take an ordinary experience and add a little extra. One might say you’d do the dishes without complaining. Another would say you’d give your parents a hug or plan a movie night. They were fun to make and even more fun when redeemed ... well, except for the chores, but even those would change ordinary activities into extraordinary experiences as grownups would often join in to help.

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 00:00

See For Yourself - Summer Camps!

Spending time outdoors, actively engaging with nature is what our Summer Camps are all about!

Our campers explore the secrets of nature by looking under logs, hiking in the woods, climbing trees, building forts, creating art projects, taking pictures and more with kids from all over the city. They’re building science and engineering skills to be better prepared for school year.

Upcoming Events

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Early Morning Bird Walks (Washington Park)

Washington Park

Wednesday, June 20th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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ROOT - Washington Park

Washington Park

Wednesday, June 20th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

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