What We Do
What We Do

What We Do

Week of August 6th - August 11th

Join Caitlin this Saturday, August 18th 7:30am-5pm for Cool Spots with Caitlin to explore Quincy Bluffs and Wetland State Natural Area. You'll get to check out a beautiful old forest which features a mix of northern and southern plant species. (Plus some pretty cool geologic features!)

636486771905515978 dayout17p3          Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinal   

Don't miss our Urban Ecology Center Forester, Caitlin's Summer Tree Identification classes, this Thursday, August 16th from 5-7pm at our Riverside Park branch! This course is a 9-week series, but feel free to come to any or all of them to learn the details of how to identify the beautiful trees around you! This week, "Conifers - Part 2". 

Explore Riverside Park, Wednesday mornings at 9:30 am at our Riverside branch, join us for our Weekly Botany Walk to observe phenology and see what's blooming!

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Swallowtail Butterfly on Prairie Blazing Star, Liatris pcynostachya

Join the ROOT times (Restoring Our Outdoors Together) at each of our Urban Ecology Center branches each week to connect to the land and help restore and improve vital habitat and native Wisconsin plant community types!

ROOT Times:

*Please, arrive dressed for the weather in clothes and shoes you don't mind getting dirty. What to expect this week:

Menomonee Valley ROOT: We will be planting throughout the park to add diversity to our plant communities, as well as, invasive species removal.

Wednesdays 9-11am 
Thursdays 9-11am (CANCELLED THIS WEEK) Jeff will be at a bumblebee workshop

Washington Park ROOT:  Help us keep our biodiversity up by removing encroaching invasive species in our native habitat areas this week.

Wednesdays 9-11am 

Thursdays 3:30-5: 30 pm (CANCELLED THIS WEEK) Michaela will be at a bumblebee workshop

Riverside Park ROOT: Let's keep our nice areas nice by removing invasive species.  

Tuesdays 9-11am; Tuesdays 2-4pm

Fridays 2-4pm

Recent Blog Posts:


Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the enigmatic and alluring archipelago of Cuba! Rich with fascinating history, culture, and unspoiled nature, this largest island of the Caribbean does not fail to please!

Our trip will take us to the towering limestone hills and lush tobacco farms of Viñales National Park. We'll visit waterfalls and swim or snorkel in the impossibly clear waters of Playa Girón. More adventurous travelers can explore Cuba’s largest cave system to encounter bats, cave formations and underground pools.

Also on the trip, we'll wander Havana's charming Plaza de Armas to learn about its interesting architectural history; explore 18th century streets, churches and museums; experience the 502-year-old colonial city of Trinidad; interact with friendly Cuban people, dancing to their wonderful music and tasting delicious homemade food.

Cuba's landscape is a bona fide tropical paradise of majestic mountains and rocky flatlands, mangrove swamps and pristine beaches, coral reefs and limestone sea caves. But its tropical avian life make it a truly special destination for birders. The island is home to a whopping 370 bird species, 28 of which are found here and nowhere else on earth — like the national bird, the Cuban trogon and the smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird. A high point of the trip will be Zapata Swamp National Park, the largest and most protected wetland in the Caribbean and a critical stopover and winter haven to more than 65 international migratory species, such as warblers and plovers. As we explore the park's diverse habitats we'll be on the lookout for the American flamingo, Cuban parrot and the adorable Cuban tody.

Space is limited so sign up soon for this unique and exotic trip!

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colorful lizard in a tropical tree 

Cuba 2019 Eco-travel Details

When: Wednesday, January 16 through Saturday, January 26, 2019

Where: This trip flies into and out of Havana City in Cuba from Chicago O’Hare

Cost: $4125 (Double Occupancy)


  • All lodging, meals, local transportation, guides, and tours
  • Accommodation in 4-star hotels and private houses
  • All meals in Cuba and one drink (sparkling or still water/soda/domestic beer) with each meal.
  • Private services of a professional driver and an English speaking guide
  • Luxury air-conditioned bus
  • Entrances fees to Viñales National Park, Zapata Swamp (Ciénaga) National Park, and other protected areas
  • Exploration of Cuba’s largest cave system and the second-largest on the American continent, Santo Tomas Great Cave
  • Trip to La Salina, an excellent site to see waterfowl birds and to observe an astonishing sunset
  • Trip to El Cubano Park to look for endemic fauna and enjoy the waterfall
  • All the activities described in the itinerary—city tours, zip lining, museums, and more
  • Time for exploration on your own to snorkel, dive, or swim in the coral reef
  • Urban Ecology Center guides to mind the details so you can relax and enjoy the trip!

Not Included: 

  • Airfare (there is a group rate available) and related taxes
  • Enrollment in the Cuba medical emergency insurance (mandatory by the Cuban government for all travelers to the island—U.S. airlines provide this in the ticket cost)
  • Mandatory Cuban Tourist Card (arranged through the airline)
  • Gratuities for Cuban tour guides, bus drivers, restaurant staff, porters, etc.
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Other expenses of a personal nature, like luggage charges, laundry, and shopping

A $500 mostly refundable deposit reserves a spot on the trip.

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Photos: Juan Carlos Ocaña

Participate in field research with Milwaukee Public Museum biologists who have been working there for more than a decade. We’ll learn about the spiders, endangered tree boas, and tree frogs endemic to Grenada. Explore unique mangrove ecosystems by kayak as we sail through turquoise waters filled with sponges and sea stars. Hikers will delight as we discover the amazing waterfalls and beautiful trails of Grand Etang National Park.

Week of August 17-23

Welcome to the Research and Community Science bi-weekly schedule! We hope you’re enjoying the new calendar view to keep track of all the research and community science programs happening each week during the busy summer field season. From invertebrates to vertebrates, our repetoire of summer programming is sure to offer something for everyone. Whether you're a beginner or an expert scientist, we invite you to participate in our community science program offerings. We welcome volunteers of all ages and experience levels.

See you in the field! - Jennifer, Jessica, and Tim

Research and Community Science News:


Rusty patched RPOn August 14th, we received official word that a bumblebee we spotted and photographed on August 2nd was indeed the endangered Rusty-patched Bumblebee!! This is fantastic news and we are really excited to be able to document such a special bumble in our shared green spaces. 

Rusty-patched Bumblebees are a federally listed endangered species - a pretty big deal for an invertebrate. Once one of the most widespread bumblebee species in the Midwest, their population has dwindled to small fragmented populations throughout the area. This is particularly alarming because bumblebees are some of our most important pollinators and are responsible for pollinating more crops, wetlands and wildflowers than the well-loved honeybee. Stay tuned as we document just how large our population turns out to be.

Just an FYI that 2/3 of the research team will be in Iceland for the better part of the next couple weeks. We will have limited surveys until the first week of September, but will return to monarch tagging, bird banding, odonate surveys and more! Fall is filled with fantastic community science programs!!

*Photo: The lone photograph of the documented Rusty-patched Bumblebee in Riverside Park. 

Recent Blog Posts:



Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Coffee & Canoe

Rowing Club

Sunday, August 19th

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

More Details...

Open Climb

Riverside Park

Sunday, August 19th

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

More Details...

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