What We Do

Current Land Stewardship Schedule

Weeks of June 15th - 29th, 2019

There are many types of beautiful flowers to choose from when considering the landscaping in your yard. Instead of choosing potentially invasive or ecologically poor non-native and IMG 7976horticultural species, why not choose native species that add beauty and habitat for the native butterflies, bees and critters that have evolved for thousands of years to metabolize those specific plants!?! Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, compares non-native and cultivated varieties of plants to putting out a bowl of plastic fruit in your yard. They may look pretty, but they are basically useless. Dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is one such species. It is a non-native plant that originates from Eurasia and often comes in many of those cute seed "wildflower" packets. Dame's rocket has taken over along many of our roadsides and bike trails in recent years. What's wrong with a little bit of pretty bloom? Well, dame's rocket is a prolific seed producer in the mustard family (We know how invasive some of those 4-petalled mustards can be!) that outcompetes many of our native species, which are host and food sources of many of our native critters, therefore reducing the biodiversity of an area. Dame's rocket can look very similar to phlox, except that dame's rocket has 4 petals and phlox has 5.



Instead, there are many wonderful native species that provide a wonderful variety of blooms! Visit our native plant sales on June 15th and 22nd to ask your local Urban Ecology Center Land Stewardship expert, or Prairie Future Seed Co staff, questions about species that would be appropriate for your yard. 

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Join us at any (or all) of our native plant sales at all three branches to purchase plants to add habitat to your own yard. It truly is amazing how quickly the pollinators, butterflies and birds will find their food sources!



(Native flowers pictured on right, from top to bottom: Wild columbine Aquilegia canadensis, wild geranium Geranium maculatum, golden alexander Zizia aurea) 

Remaining Native Plant Sales:

Riverside Park - Sat. June 15th

Menomonee Valley - Sat. June 22nd


Join our Land Stewardship staff to walk and see what's emerging and blooming in our parks during our Botany Walks, 3 times per month. We will learn to recognize common plant family patterns and individual species characteristics. The walks will alternate weeks, occurring once per month at each branch on Fridays from 9-10:30am. 1st Fridays of the month at Menomonee Valley; 2nd Fridays at Riverside Park; 3rd at Washington Park. Join us for any or all IMG 7979and have the opportunity to get to know the plants and the land at all three of our beautiful parks!



See below for ROOT times, below, to come help us improve the habitat diversity at all three of our branches! 

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

ROOT Times: (ROOT may be canceled if the temperatures are above 100F, below 0F or if there are thunder and lightning)

*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 working on invasive species removal in Three Bridges Park. Help us remove invasive species to provide more room for native species to improve the diversity of habitat in our parks. We will also be working on planting of native species and smothering a patch of invasives within 3 Bridges Park. 

Wednesdays 9-11am 

Thursdays 9-11am  

Washington Park ROOT: 
We will be planting in the newly uncovered woodland area and continue smothering the next section to prepare it for next year. Visit us to see the blooming woodland wildflowers from last year's planting!

Tuesdays 9-11am 

Thursdays 3:30-5:30pm  

Riverside Park ROOT: 

We will be working on invasive species removal to make space for native species to improve the habitat diversity of Riverside Park. Burdok and thistle are big targets this time of year, before they go to seed. We will also be working on tree protection for our newly planted and existing trees.

Tuesdays 9-11am; Tuesdays 2-4pm  

Fridays 2-4pm

1st Saturday of each month (April to Nov) 9:30-11am

Recent Land Stewardship Blog Posts:




Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Riverside Park Volunteer Orientation

Riverside Park

Monday, June 17th

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

More Details...

Ojibwe Language Study Group

Riverside Park

Monday, June 17th

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

More Details...

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