What We Do
What We Do

What We Do


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Get outside, find all the birds you can and help others discover the birds, animals and insects around them. Gather your flock and join the Green Birding Challenge!

Help us raise funds for our Community Science program and provide students and the community opportunities to learn about birds and other members of the natural world. This unique fundraiser is our way of celebrating World Migratory Bird Day. Fossil fuel free bird counts are perfect for beginner to advanced level birders. 

In addition to promoting fossil fuel free birding, The Green Birding Challenge inspires friendly competition and encourages everyone to get outside to explore the wonders of resident and migratory birds in Milwaukee.

Green Birding Challenge participants try to spot the most birds (without using fossil fuels) to win!

Green Birding Challenge participants try to spot the most birds (without using fossil fuels) to win!

How to Participate

Gather a group and choose from the following three categories:

  • Soaring Eagle Challenge For serious/advanced birders
    Teams of two, three or four* compete for prizes in a 5-hour (full length) competitive challenge as either a mobile "migratory" team (walking, biking) or a "resident" stationary team (Big Sit).
  • Rockin’ Robin Challenge For less competitive advanced to beginning birders
     Teams of two, three or four* compete for prizes in a shorter, 3-hour challenge.
  • Fledgling Fun Challenge For families or novices who want to get outside, have fun and learn about birds
     Teams of two or more (10 person maximum) participate in a non-competitive, 2-hour mini-challenge with guided opportunities to learn about birds and participate in bird-themed quests for prizes.

*A fourth team member is allowed for Soaring Eagle or Rockin’ Robin if they are a beginner level birder.

Click here for descriptions and rules of the different challenge types

Choose your challenge and start or join a team  whether you’re an experienced birder or just enjoy spending time outdoors with friends, the Green Birding Challenge has something for you!

BirdingChallenge 41

Green Birding Challenge participants from all ages


Click here for more info and to register


Special thank you to our sponsors whose generous support has helped make this event possible!



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CG Schmidt


Photo credit: Matt Unrau

From its biologically rich prairie potholes to the geologically stunning badlands, North Dakota offers a wealth of treasures for ecologically minded folks!

Credit: NPS/Gary Anderson

Flying into Bismarck, the journey will begin in south-eastern North Dakota where we will explore the geological remnants of the Wisconsin Glaciation; the prairie potholes. This ecologically important area supports nearly 50% of North America’s waterfowl and is considered one of the most significant wetland areas on the continent.

An American White Pelican breeding Colony in Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS

From there, the journey will continue into the striking badland area. This area, well-known for its fossil-rich geologic landforms, highlight the unique buttes, domes, pyramids, and cones that comprise the badlands. Field trips to North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park will showcase the unique birds and megafauna of the region.

Bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Credit: NPS/Janice Shanks


May 26 – June 1 (7 days, 6 nights)


The Badlands

  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Painted Canyons
  • Petrified Forests
  • Horseback riding
  • Large mammals such as bison, elk, and bighorn sheep.

The Prairie Potholes

  • Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge – one of the most important wetland habitats in a string of refuges extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico
  • Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve – known for the number of breeding waterfowl, shorebird and woodland bird species it attracts.
  • Prairie Dogs Towns
  • Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge – home to the largest breeding colony of White Pelicans in N. America

A North Dakota Prairie Dog town. Credit: NPS/Jeff Zylland


TBD plus airfare (double occupancy)

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505

Iceland’s scenery is breathtaking – the result of glacial and volcanic processes. The country has a unique social and political history and its location just below the Arctic Circle will likely result in large impacts from climate change over the coming years.

Gooafoss AEvar Guomundsson
Goðafoss, the "waterfall of the gods," just one of the extraordinary stops on our Eco-travel trip to Iceland! Photo: Ævar Guðmundsson

Dimmuborgir Sander Hoogendoorn
The lava fields of Dimmuborgir make for an otherworldly landscape. Photo: Sander Hoogendoorn


August 23 – September 1, 2018 (10 days, 9 nights)


  • 3 hour whale watching cruise from Húsavík
  • Climbing an extinct volcanic crater
  • Waterfalls exploration including Hraunfossar, which drains from under vast lava fields into the river Hvítá, Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Gullfoss, a beautiful double waterfall and Goðafoss, "the waterfall of the gods"
  • Visiting Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier
  • Touring amazing geothermal sites including geysers, lava fields and hot springs.
  • Boat ride among the floating icebergs on the glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón.
  • Discover thousands of years of Nordic history


$5975.00 plus airfare (double occupancy)

This trip is already filled! If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505 

Dettifoss Neil DCruze
The glacier-fed Dettifoss, in Vatnajökull National Park, is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe! Photo: Neil D'Cruze


The Urban Ecology Center Eco-travel program offers a unique way to explore local and international destinations while exploring issues around sustainability. Your participation supports the Urban Ecology Center’s mission.

Upcoming Events

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Volunteer Park Rangers

Menomonee Valley

Saturday, March 24th

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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SWAN Day Opening Celebration: "Women and Nature-Nourishing Our Roots"

Menomonee Valley

Saturday, March 24th

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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