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Displaying items by tag: Menomonee Valley
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.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 00:00

Outdoor Awesomeness

Being outside is awesome because there is something for everyone. This was perfectly illustrated on a camping adventure with the Menomonee Valley Young Scientists Club this past summer. We packed two buses full of tents, sleeping bags, food and ourselves and drove up to Blue Heron Wildlife Sanctuary for our first Young Scientists and parents camping trip. Camping was a new experience for many, so we planned to do the basics like preparing dinner over a fire, telling stories and exploring the woods at night. But perhaps the best parts of the whole trip were the things that had not been planned.

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

2015 Art in Menomonee Valley

Neighborhood and Nature: Inspired Art

Unfolding over the past several months, fourteen invited Plein Air artists painted outdoors in Three Bridges Park and at the Menomonee Valley Urban Ecology Center. Their works depict native plants and animals, the Menomonee River, activities at the Center and environs, and the neighborhood.

Join us as we host our first-ever art show in the Menomonee Valley! See the results of three seasons' worth of work on display at our Menomonee Valley branch now through December. And don't forget about our current show at Riverside Park!

Organized and led by artist Lynn Rix, participating artists include Tom Buchs, Audrey Dulmes, Kathleen Flaherty, Gail Franke, Barb Hayden, James Hempel, Sybil Klug, Carolyn Larkin, Les Lengwell, Gary Millard, Daniel Rizzi, Pam Ruschman, and Wendie Thompson. After the reception the exhibit will be on display at our Menomonee Valley branch through December.

UEC-MV-LynnRixPleinAirProject-2015 2 EDIT

What is "Plein Air" Painting?

The seasons each have unique inspirations: in Winter, the white snow and the clear blue sky produce a kaleidoscope of vibrant color; Spring and Summer with landscapes full of life and bloom; Autumn when oranges, reds and golds of the trees and golds vibrate against the cool blue sky.

Plein Air is a French term meaning "open air" and refers to the act of painting outdoors as opposed to the controlled conditions of a studio. Capturing what they see in natural light requires quick brush work and a limited palette, forcing an artist to work spontaneously. Paintings capture that particular moment in time; an impression of a beautiful effect of light. Paintings are usually worked on smaller canvases to be able to complete a painting in two to four hours capturing the sun before it moves on.

UEC-MV-LynnRixPleinAirProject-2015 painting EDIT
Painting by Lynn Rix

 

 

Friday, 26 June 2015 00:00

See For Yourself - Healing the Land

Protection and restoration of the land is an essential part of what we do. Through hands-on work, our Land Stewardship team and volunteers grow healthy native habitats in which animals and plants can thrive. These areas are also important to our environmental education programs. Plus they are a great place to explore the natural world! See for yourself how we are caring for the land.

Wednesday, 06 May 2015 00:00

Volunteer Power at the Front Desk

“Do you like animals? There’s a room filled with Wisconsin Animals and a S-L-I-D-E” our Saturday morning receptionist Sybil Rockwell said smiling.

“A what?!” said a visiting child. He begins to sound out the letters “S-L-I-D-E, sl-ide, slide”. “There’s a slide here!?” said the child excitedly.

"Your right!" answered Sybil, “Let’s go find it!”

This is just one example of the many unique interaction that our volunteer receptionists provide our visitors.

The front desk receptionists are a dedicated crew of volunteers that return week after week for a 2-3 hour shift. They play an important role for our operations and work towards our mission of ecological understanding and growing community.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 00:00

The Importance of Paying Attention

Being an ecologist, in many ways, is about paying attention. In springtime, the Center is particularly good at this: the staff have their eyes and ears on high alert for that first jubilant trill of a Red-winged Blackbird or the first striped flash of a chipmunk that will let us know the wait for spring is over.

But the everyday observations are just as important as the “firsts.” That’s how we learn to understand the natural world and notice changes or needs arising in our own ecosystem.

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Christmas Bird Count (East Side)

Riverside Park

Saturday, December 14th

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

More Details...

Christmas Bird Count (West Side)

Menomonee Valley

Saturday, December 14th

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

More Details...

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