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Displaying items by tag: Washington Park
Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

Snow and Go!

Get notified about spontaneous winter adventures! Sign up for our “Snow and Go" group!

Knowing when Wisconsin’s snow will fall is difficult to determine, but having fun in that snow is not! When snow conditions are too perfect to stay indoors, you will receive an email notifying you of a spontaneous winter recreation program — sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, making snow angels — whatever the snow calls for!

Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00

The Greatest Gift

Hi, it’s me, Ken! I’m thinking about what to give to the special people in my life during this giving season. Should I give them an Urban Ecology Center gift membership? A Center t-shirt? Or maybe a day outdoors in the snow? Hmm, perhaps I should ask around. "What does the fox say?"

Monday, 25 August 2014 00:00

Celebrating the Journey

He first arrived at the Urban Ecology Center as a guest presenter who shared the story of his solo 61 day wilderness trip tracing the steps of Charles A. Sheldon through the back country of Denali on the 100th anniversary of Sheldon’s trek. Shortly thereafter, Willie Karidis was hired at our Washington Park branch. Five years later Willie is returning to Alaska where, tapping into his deep appreciation for nature, wilderness and the depth of the human spirit, he will be the Chief Operating Officer of the world famous, 1049 mile Iditarod dogsled race!

Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:00

A School Year of Firsts

“Miss Katie, I love nature!” “Nature is the best!” I absolutely love hearing these exclamations as students dance on Washington Park’s Band Shell, climb fallen trees or dip nets into the lagoon. As my first year of teaching students in our school program comes to an end, I begin to reflect on everything I have learned during this year.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

See for Yourself - Interns

The Urban Ecology Center’s Summer Internship progran is a dynamic employment opportunity for adults. It’s a win-win; The Center gains valuable help during our busiest months and Interns get a summer they’ll never forget!

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!

Everyone, no matter their age, can teach, help and learn at the Urban Ecology Center! See for yourself how older adults through teens are mentoring Summer Campers and students who will in turn be the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

Research shows two things make a person environmentally aware – constant contact with nature early in life and a mentor who demonstrates positive behavior toward the environment. With this research in mind, we train interns to be mentors to high schoolers, who in turn become mentors to our Summer Campers.

Come in today to see how your whole family can learn, work and grow at our Center. 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 14:59

Rivers of Fun

Spring is always a time of excitement and of release. As the snow melts and the birds return, I feel a sense of relief from the cooped-up restlessness of winter. The students I work with seem to have the same experience, though of course in a more exaggerated way. After a winter in often windowless classrooms, they are as wiggly physically as I am mentally.

The typical structure of our classes with the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project, our school program, is to do one or two short activities inside before heading out into the park.

When I was first hired as an Environmental Educator seven years ago the Washington Park branch was just getting started. I had spent the last four years teaching in a variety of environmental education centers where my outdoor classroom had been a forest.

My new outdoor classroom was not a forest but a city park that had a lagoon with a very distinct “stinky end,” some nicely spaced trees and grass. All I could see were the challenges in not having decomposing logs to roll over, undergrowth to play camouflage or a gully of rocks; in short, all the things I was used to having when teaching a class.

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.

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Monarch Larva Monitoring Project - Washington Park

Washington Park

Monday, June 25th

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

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Nature Rangers: Monday Series

Riverside Park

Monday, June 25th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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