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Displaying items by tag: Nature

Throughout history Milwaukee’s rivers have tremendously affected the people of this area. People have relied on these now-urban waterways for food, travel, trade, industry and recreation. But just as Milwaukee’s Magnificent Waters have affected us, our actions and behavior affect the rivers we love and rely on. In 1987, the Milwaukee Estuary was designated an Area of Concern (AOC) by the federal government. The waters of the Estuary are considered impaired as the result of historical modifications like dredging and straightening, and heavy pollutant loads. It is one of forty-three AOC-designated Great Lake watersheds in the U.S. and Canada.

Friday, 30 August 2013 13:37

Royal Bay-Bee Mania

The topic on the first day of the Urban Ecologists Summer Camp in the Menomonee Valley was insects. The honeybees in our rooftop hive gave the campers a special treat by letting them witness one of the more exciting events in the insect world: a bee swarm, which accompanies the birth of a new queen. This would soon become an experience they wouldn’t forget.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:20

Darwin, Franklin and You

What do Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin and our summer interns have in common? They are CommunityScientists! A Community Scientist is someone who engages in the research process in a non-academic setting. People are often surprised to learn that anyone can participate in our research projects, regardless of their age, background or previous experience. All you need is a passion for the natural environment. Community Science volunteers at the Center work with bats, birds, bugs, frogs and toads, small mammals, snakes, turtles, insects, plants and more!

We know there are bats in Riverside Park. Hike a trail at dusk and you may see a Big Brown Bat fly overhead or even hear a few chirps if a bat is closing in on its prey. Because of their nocturnal aerial habits, bats make very difficult study subjects. But recent technological advances are allowing us more detailed glimpses into the habits and distribution of Wisconsin’s bats, including those in Riverside Park.

Monday, 26 August 2013 15:24

Come Celebrate!

It’s finally ready and YOU are invited to celebrate a beautiful new public gem: The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum opens on September 28th, 2013! The journey leading up to this event has been rich with energy, dedication, challenges and vision. Glimpses of this vision began in the early 1990s when a group of neighbors imagined what it would be like to transform Riverside Park into a safer, ecologically robust outdoor classroom. They formed Friends of Riverside Park, which later evolved into the Urban Ecology Center. New park surveys and attendance records now show that within the last year there have been over 125,000 visits from students, families, adults and neighbors to the 15 acres of Riverside Park. The arboretum adds 25 acres to the existing park. Come celebrate our new 40 acre outdoor classroom!

Thursday, 04 July 2013 08:32

Interest Groups: What is Your Crazy Idea?

What good is an idea if it resides only in the isolation of one mind? Ideas that are shared and nurtured are those ideas that grow, become contagious, and bring about change. I believe that all ideas are valuable, even the ones that seem crazy at first. Diversity is essential for healthy, thriving, natural systems. Heterogeneity, not homogeneity, of ideas breeds innovation.

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 16:05

Three Bridges Park Grand Opening!

We are thrilled to announce that on Saturday, July 20th, Three Bridges Park will open in the Menomonee Valley! I can't wait to help you explore this 24-acre brownfield-turned-greenspace!

This park marks the fourth and final piece in the "From the Ground Up" campaign, a joint effort of the Center, the Menomonee Valley Partners, the City of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin and many corporate and individual donors to revitalize the Valley and reconnect it to surrounding communities. As the land is healed, the community can become more vibrant.

With the addition of 25 acres of land along the Milwaukee River and Oak Leaf Trail to the existing 15 acres of restored natural lands of Riverside Park, we are gearing up for adventures and exploration of our new 40-acre Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. You are invited to join in the fun through our new volunteer docent program. This training will prepare you to lead other nature and outdoor enthusiasts in learning about the Arboretum.

Sunday, 01 September 2013 13:24

MUL8ME

If I had a car this would be the personalized license plate for me. It is perfect! If more people would only emulate me, the world would be a much better place don't you think? Am I being arrogant? Sure. Pompous? You bet. Conceited? Not in the slightest. Supercilious? Maybe . . . need to look that one up. But am I right? Absolutely!

Just to be clear, in case you are taking me seriously the last thing I really want is the world to truly emulate me. I'm as messed up a the best of us — just ask my family or my therapist. It would, however, be nice if a few more people chose to compost. Because when it comes to making dirt I am definitely emulatable (take that, spell check!)

Monday, 29 April 2013 09:42

Impact of Urban Nature

When we started this project we now affectionately call the Urban Ecology Center, we had a dream, a concept for implementation and a process to get us there. Our expectations for success have been significantly exceeded – never in our wildest dreams did we expect to have three vibrant environmental community centers up and running so soon from our beginnings in a trailer parked in Riverside Park. But are we really having the impacts we set out to accomplish? Are students really learning? Are our parks, that we claim are now safe, really being used? Is providing nature in the city and exposing people to it really making a difference? And how do we actually know?

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