What We Do
What We Do

What We Do

Step back in time with the Urban Ecology Center as we explore the coast of Maine aboard the Lewis R. French, a two-masted schooner built in 1871 that is the oldest schooner in the country!  We’ll meander through Penobscot Bay, exploring islands, viewing wildlife (seals, puffins, dolphins) and eating delicious food including an island lobster-bake! Participants will enjoy the quiet and solitude that comes with wind-powered transportation and they can help sail the boat and jump in the ocean.

New this year! We will also explore Monhegan Island, designated a National Natural Landmark for its coastal and island wildlife and we will partake in whale and puffin watching cruises.

Lewis R French at Owls Head copy 1600x625

Sail aboard the Lewis R. French, the oldest schooner in the US! 

When: Sunday, May 31st through Sunday, June 7th: 2020

Where: The trip begins and ends in Rockport/Camden Maine.

Cost:  $1,973 Double occupancy. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for single occupancy options.


  • 4 nights aboard the Lewis R. French, the oldest schooner in the United States and a National Historic Landmark – the only remaining schooner of thousands built in Maine in the 19th Century.
  • 3 nights in the quaint and historic Rockport/Camden area
  • All meals including an island lobster bake
  • All local transportation and lodging, including a ferry to Monhegan Island
  • Two charming Urban Ecology Center employees who will worry about all the details for you so you can enjoy the creature comforts of the trip!

Not Included: Airfare/transportation costs to Camden (although we will help arrange logistics).

Maine coastline photo by Dan Doornbos
Explore the Maine coastline! Photo: Dan Doornbos

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

Reserve your spot today!

mike steering
The Center's own Mike Larson had a chance at the wheel!

The Urban Ecology Center – Riverside Park is seeking artists interested in showing their work in our Community Room gallery. The deadline is January 30, 2020.

Criteria for Exhibits:

To enhance the UEC’s educational mission, artwork must have one of the following as its theme: nature-related subjects, the natural sciences, natural products used as art or the relationship of the urban environment to nature. Work submitted in response to the call for artists must be consistent with what you will have available for the exhibition. As a neighborhood-based organization in a diverse neighborhood, we hope to host artists whose art reflects that diversity and resonates with our community. Artists with connections to the neighborhood(s) surrounding the Riverside Park Center are encouraged to apply!


Selected artwork will be displayed in one of the quarterly shows: July – September 2020, October – December 2020, January – March 2021 and April – June 2021. Art Opening receptions will always be on the second Thursday evening (5 – 7pm) of the month beginning an exhibit.

Our exhibit spaces also serve as meeting rooms and classrooms that are used daily. There are approximately 90 linear feet of the wall display area and each show typically exhibits two artists concurrently. Artists are responsible for hanging their work using the gallery system. Help can be made available. The UEC provides the space, notifies its membership and community of the exhibit through a printed newsletter, email blasts and social media. Artwork may be available for purchase with a 20% sale price contribution to the UEC. The Center carries insurance for these exhibits.

Artists are also welcome to offer workshops, talks or classes relative to their work at the Center. You have the opportunity to connect in this way with community programs, educational and school program and even staff development.

Application Process:

You will need the following items in order to submit your application:

  • Artist statement (PDF, one-page max). Tell us about yourself and your work and how your work relates to our mission. Tell us if you propose incorporated a workshop, talk or class with your exhibit. Include the number of works you’d like to display and the ideal time frame.
  • Resume and exhibition record (PDF, three pages max).
  • Up to five jpeg images of artwork with filenames in the following format: ArtistName_ImageTitle_Medium_Size_Year. Size should be noted in inches, e.g. 5 x 7.

Submission Deadline is January 30, 2020. For questions, contact Meghan Forseth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 414-964-8505. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to receiving your submission!

Click here to submit your application


See the wildlife of your dreams in Brazil!

Brazil’s Pantanal is a mix of savanna, forest, and wetland habitats with the highest concentration of wildlife in South America. Home to the world’s largest fresh-water wetlands, the Pantanal is ten times the size of the Everglades, draining into a single channel: the Paraguay River. You’ll venture deep into this world-class wildlife hotspot from August 22 - September 1, 2020.

Discover thriving wildlife

Even a relaxed day can yield more than 100 species of birds and dozens of mammals — Capybara are everywhere! Brazilian Tapir, Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, and yes, Jaguar (we saw many on our past trips!), are five of many incredible mammals we seek. Greater Rhea, Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, Red Legged Seriema, and Helmeted Manakin top the list of impressive bird sightings. Rare Green Anaconda, the world’s largest snake, may be a lucky find, while the small crocodilian Yacaré can be seen by the thousands. For many, it is the sheer number and variety of species that leaves the most lasting impression.

Saving habitat through ecotourism

Tourism can be a major part of the revitalization of a small economy. Ecotourism can have the extra benefit of saving habitat in areas where farming is a big business. Some farmers in Brazil are working with environmentalists on nearby habit to make it appealing to nature enthusiasts who then use the farms as travel accommodations. You’ll support this alternative economic model by staying at a charming (and working) cattle ranch who’s owners have worked to keep their land thriving with its own impressive and distinctive wildlife community.

We also support local economies by frequenting locally owned businesses, restaurants and attractions.

Is the Pantanal on fire?

We take the safety of our participants very seriously. The Pantanal has been affected by the 2019 fires in the Amazon. We're keeping an eye on the situation and will let our registrants know if there are any change of plans. 

Attend our Eco-Travel Information Session on Oct 29th to get more details about this amazing trip.

Save your space and go to Brazil!

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

Reserve your spot today!

  • Hyacinth Macaw (the biggest parrot in the world)

  • Toco Toucan

  • Jabiru (a type of wood stork)

  • Jaguar

Brazil 2020 Eco-travel Details


August 22 - September 1, 2020


  • Try for South America’s “Big Five” Brazilian Tapir, Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, and Jaguar
  • Witness the “Big Five” of birds: Red Legged Seriema, Greater Rhea, Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, and Helmeted Manakin. Add Southern Screamer,
    Sunbittern, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, and so many more!
  • Explore both sides of the Transpantaneira wilderness — by boat and road on safari-like excursions
  • Find five species of kingfisher
  • Enjoy local cuisine and hospitality at fazendas (working cattle ranches) at several stages along the road
  • Boat the Cuiabá River for an excellent chance at a Jaguar sighting
  • See water birds in mass congregation — like those of the Everglades, but magnified!
  • Find at least four species of monkeys and several hundred species of birds
  • Scan for night birds under intense southern sky constellations; spotlight for mammals, too!
  • Enjoy optional fishing at two locations (additional cost for local boat and guide)


You can download a draft of our itinerary here!


The price per person for 11 days in Brazil is $5940 per person double occupancy. Single occupancy is $7170 and this is limited to two spots.

This price covers:

• 3 domestic flights (Sao Paulo - Campo Grande, Campo Grande - Cuiaba, Cuiaba - Sao Paulo)

• All other domestic transportation (buses and boats)

• All meals and accommodations as described in the itinerary

• Photo safaris, tours, entrance fees

• Local guides

It does not include:

• International airfare to Sao Paulo

• Tips

• Additional beverages (non-alcoholic and alcohol)

A $500 deposit secures your spot on this adventure.

Reserve your spot today!

Photo credits: Carlos Roberto ChavarrÍa

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Bird Walks (Menomonee Valley)

Menomonee Valley

Tuesday, January 21st

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

More Details...

ROOT - Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Tuesday, January 21st

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

More Details...

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