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Displaying items by tag: Washington Park
Wednesday, 23 October 2019 11:42

Insect Collecting on the Prairie

Cool September mornings on the prairie are ripe with beauty and activity: grasses towering, swaying overhead in the light autumn breeze, goldenrod with its tiny intricate blossoms, and asters popping in vibrant hues of purple, white, and blue. Insects busily soak up the last fruits of fall before winter’s frost. Meanwhile, boisterous high school sophomores rush up and down the paths winding through the prairie, combing the grasses and flowers with giant sweep nets in search of insects. This peaceful prairie teeming with diverse plant and insect life—nestled in the heart of urban Milwaukee—has become an outdoor classroom for teenagers embarking on an important school project.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:50

What's Your UEC Story?

You know that feeling you get when you walk into an Urban Ecology Center branch? The feeling that you are somewhere special? The first time I felt that feeling was 12 years ago when walked into the Urban Ecology Center in Washington Park. The branch had just opened, and I was there to help plan the first Winterfest.

If you’ve been to one of our Urban Ecology Center branches, you have probably visited one of our Native Wisconsin Animal Rooms and seen the many cold-blooded critters that call the UEC our home. Our education animals are an important part of our mission to provide kids and families with life-changing encounters with the natural world. A lot goes on behind the scenes to make this happen: the animals need to be fed, their homes need to be cleaned, and we need to make sure they remain healthy. That last item is made much easier thanks to the generosity of Lakeside Animal Hospital.

Thursday, 28 March 2019 10:17

Full Circle with the UEC

I was first introduced to the Urban Ecology Center in the year 2002 through my job with Milwaukee Public Schools. At this time, the Urban Ecology Center was no more than a trailer, yet something about the place was special. I can remember seeing children extremely excited to learn about animals and go on nature hikes. I was just as excited to see them experience these things!

Friday, 01 March 2019 15:31

From Volunteer to Vet School

As a volunteer, Camoya remembers, “The first thing they had us do was canoe…and I’ve never canoed before. I was really nervous and it was completely out of my comfort zone. But they were like ‘you can do it, you can do it!’”

“The staff were very encouraging. So we got in the canoe and we canoed the lagoon. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had here.” From Camoya’s first introduction to the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center as a youth volunteer in 2014 to her years in the High School Outdoor Leader program and then acceptance to college in the fall of 2018, we’ve loved being a part of this amazing young woman’s journey!

Friday, 04 January 2019 10:40

Join Our Crew of Animal Care Volunteers!

My most memorable “nature moments” as a kid involved close encounters with animals: meeting live snakes at Riverbend Nature Center in my hometown of Racine, encountering bighorn sheep on a family trip to Badlands National Park, going fishing in lakes in Northern Wisconsin. At the Urban Ecology Center, our mission is to connect people to nature, and providing interactions with animals is one of the most visceral ways we do that.

Thursday, 25 October 2018 14:22

Home Away From Home: UEC at Washington Park

The Washington Park branch of the Urban Ecology Center has a sense of family. Once you’re there and interacting with everyone around the place, you will for sure feel the vibe too! There are so many reasons why the UEC feels like a home away from home.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 13:30

Thinking Ahead to 2022 ... and Beyond!

Perhaps you have seen the recent headlines?

Urban Ecology Center's $12 million expansion plan at Washington Park would save taxpayers
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 25, 2018

Urban Ecology Center plans $12 million expansion at Washington Park site
— Milwaukee BizTimes, May 29, 2018

Yes it’s true, with emphasis on the words “offers” and “plans.”

One of my favorite things is to roll into Riverside Park on a fall day and hear the crunch of leaves under my tires. From the paved oak circle to the crushed limestone path along the Milwaukee River, my power wheelchair and I are a team looking for everything that being in nature brings.

As an employee of the UEC, I'm super proud of our commitment to providing experiences that bring everyone as far into urban nature as they are willing to go. Together we've learned that sometimes all it takes to increase access to nature for people with disabilities is ingenuity, curiosity and a sense of adventure.

The viscerally devastating moving picture of a polar bear struggling to board a chunk of ice, dissolving under its paws, still haunts me today. Judging by the public and critical response to the The Inconvenient Truth—a national and international box office success from 2006—I was not the only one that found the documentary poignant and disturbing. The impact of the film is best captured by the Oxford University-run survey which shows that as many as 89% of respondents said it made them more aware of the problem of global warming and as many as 74% of them claimed that they had changed some of their habits after seeing the film.

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