What We Do


We love adventure here at the Urban Ecology Center, and while we usually encourage the exploration of our own backyards, we know that some of the greatest adventures happen when you heed the call of the wild and journey far from home.

Our Eco-travel program lets you roam away from home while getting the same focus on nature, education, community and fun that informs everything we do. And because our trips are lead by Center staff members who have lived in or traveled extensively though the area you'll explore, you're assured the kind of intimate, off-the-beaten-path experience that comes from traveling with a local.

2017-18 Preview

We are excited to announce the destinations for our upcoming season! We’ll travel places far and not so far, subarctic and tropical, visiting places with volcanoes, glaciers, potholes and sand dunes.

Learn more at our FREE program preview Wednesday, September 13th at our Riverside Park branch! We'll present additional details, photos of our scheduled destinations, and answer any questions you might have. Register now by clicking the button below!

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International Excursions

Costa Rica

January 31 – February 11, 2018 (12 days, 11 nights)

One of our most popular destinations, and for good reason; Costa Rica has the largest percentage of protected areas of any country in world. Explore rain forest canals, see Spanish architecture from the 1700's, and relax in volcanic hot springs.

Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi WJ
The Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi (built in 1743) in the Orosi Valley of Costa Rica. Photo: W & J

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August 23 – September 1, 2019 (10 days, 9 nights)

Experience Iceland's breathtaking geography, the result of glacial and volcanic processes. Climb an extinct volcanic crater, watch for whales, cruise through glaciers, and discover the "waterfall of the gods."

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

Learn more!

Domestic Destinations

We are offering 2 trips within the United States during the summer of 2018. Specifics of these trips will be posted soon.

North Dakota

A week long trip to the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. This unique landscape is the result of glacial activity that left behind millions of shallow depressions (potholes) that are now wetlands supporting huge populations of waterfowl. Once the largest expanse of grassland in the world the landscape today experiences mixed agricultural, private and recreational uses and the wetlands are under severe threats of habitat degradation.


A 3-night trip to Michigan that is primarily focused on the ecology of two federally endangered species - The Kirtland’s Warbler, which relies on jack pine forests and the Karner Blue Butterfly, a savanna species whose larvae feed only on Wild Lupine.


Some previous Eco-travel trips include: the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Preserve in New Mexico, Denali National Park in Alaska, and a sailing excursion in Maine.

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Menomonee Valley Bird Banding

Menomonee Valley

Thursday, September 20th

6:15 AM - 12:00 PM

More Details...

Early Morning Bird Walk (Riverside Park)

Riverside Park

Thursday, September 20th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

More Details...

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