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BRIDGE

e r ! u s t l a l a N C Features

Rise of the Urban Ecology Center Find out more about the birth of the UEC.

MIAD Service Learning at Milwaukee River What has MIAD done for the Community?

New Growth in the Menomonee See whats new in the Valley.


Letter from the

Editor Greeting readers and followers, I want to welcome you to the first issue of MIAD Bridge. Growing Up in a small city like Milwaukee you get in touch with the community. But the most important thing Milwaukee give to the residents is a state of pride. I for one found the city of Milwaukee a huge influence in my life. From the MKE River to Lake Michigan, from Juneautown to Walker’s Point I love this city with a burning desire. Milwaukee’s achievements from the past and recent fill the people with happiness and respect. As the Native American Tribes that inhabit the area called it the gathering place (by the water) or being referring as the Cream city because of large number of cream colored bricks that came out of the Menomonee River Valley and were used in construction for buildings. But I want to talk about my great childhood in this great city. I grew up in a single family home with my mother and sister. My Mother did all that she could for me and my sister even though we didn’t have much but she kept a roof over our heads and made sure we had the same amount of fun as other kids our age. I know a lot of people are not active during the winter season and would rather stay indoors. As a grown up my

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favorite season will always be winter because of my mother. Just because its cold out doesn’t mean you stop being outdoors. Every winter the family would grab our skates drive down to red arrow park and skate until our hearts desire. There was plenty of time we would fall, laugh it off and right back and continue to have fun. We never felt ashamed or embarrassed that we fell on a cold sheet of ice but the simple fact we enjoy being outdoors with family. Another thing we did during winter is sledding, that was probably my favorite get together. We would spend our whole day sledding down various hills. Think about it make me wish I was still a kid again but I was to thank my Mother for giving us a wonderful childhood. It fun witnessing yourself growing up in your hometown from kid to adult but also watching your city grow with you. It’s kind like having a close childhood friend that with for the rest of your life, I hope you enjoy reading about MKE community and environment. Thank You! Sincerely,

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Table Of Contents Features Rise of the Urban Ecology Center, Pg 7

Menomnee valley river, november,12, 2016

Departments

MIAD Service Learning at Milwaukee River,

Pg 13

5 Community

A MIAD student experience volunteering at the UEC. From pulling weeds to conneting to the community.

11 Enviroment

Menomnee valley field, november,12, 2016

Exploring the nature of al-

New Growth in the Menomonee Valley, Pg 21

gae and how it can damage or help our lands and rivers

.

19 Q&A

One on one interview with Interview with Glenna Glenna H olstein and Holstein her role at Menomonee Valley.

Riverside park, october,22, 2016

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MIAD Service Learning at Milwaukee River..........Pg 9 MIAD Bridge

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My Experience of community service

at the

Urban Ecology

Center by: Keenen Edwards

Why is the Urban Ecology Center important? By teaching Environmental Education to families that come to the centers and surrounding parks together to learn and play! They have programs and events for a range of ages. Also the Urban Ecology Center offers after school programming for Community Learning Centers, youth groups, and schools. Active, hands-on science education is integral to each outing, and transportation is included. Another thing they do is inspire people to tread lightly on the earth while being mindful of their impact on the water, climate, energy, land use, biodiversity and community. Making intentional, mindful food choices is one way to have a huge impact on each of these things.

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Community How has the UEC evolved over time? In 1991, they organized park clean-ups and started to use the park to teach neighbourhood students about nature and science in riverside. In 2004, after years of operating out of a double-wide classroom trailer, the Center opened a new community and education center in Riverside Park. Today, the Urban Ecology Center has two additional locations in Milwaukee: one in Washington Park to serve communities and schools on Milwaukee’s west side and one in the Menomonee Valley on Milwaukee’s south side. We are a vibrant and growing organization, serving 77,000 people each year and protecting and restoring urban green spaces in Milwaukee.

How did the UEC affect me? I think for me working there makes me really appreciate nature. Seeing how big an impact this center had on the community which is impressive. Being there for the last couple weeks makes me want to be more active in the neighbourhood. When I get the chance to get my bike fix, I’m going to take a ride down the bike trail. But from day one I have been treated with kindness from everybody. I know when I have kids I’m going to take them to the UEC. Would I recommend anybody to volunteer? Yes great place to meet new people and witness nature first hand. If you love to be outside, animals and plant life, this is the place for you. Another thing is the UEC is well-connected with the art community. So you will find yourself doing one or two art projects.

What is UEC Mission? • Provide outdoor science education for urban youth. • Protect and use public natural areas, making them safe, accessible and vibrant. • Preserve and enhance these natural areas and their surrounding waters. • Promote community by offering resources that support learning, volunteerism, stewardship, recreation and camaraderie. • Practice and model environmentally responsible behaviours.

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7

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Rise

Urban

of the

Ecology

Center

S

Article by: Peggy Schulz

Illustration by: Antonio Gonsalo Cendejas

ave the park.” That was the single, not-sosimple goal of a very loosely organized group of concerned residents of Riverside Park in the early 1990s. Little did they know that two decades later, a trio of nationally recognized ecology education centers would grow out of their efforts. Today, school children in three distinct neighborhoods — Riverside Park, Washington Park and Menomonee Valley — boast an Urban Ecology Center where children learn about ecology and their environment through a wide range of programs and activities, including “outdoor laboratories,” a full year of trips for students at nearby schools, after-school programs and preschool programs. In September, the newest location, in the Menomonee Valley at 37th and Pierce streets, was named a finalist for the 2013 MANDI awards, in the State Farm Building Blocks Award category.

Washington Park as a whole also is a MANDI finalist. The site of the original UEC, Riverside Park, was designed in 1865 by Frederick Law Olmsted as the western anchor of Newberry Boulevard, with Lake Park serving as the eastern anchor. In the years since the park was created, it had fallen into disrepair.

Reclaim the Parks With the intent of building an MPS middle school, a square block and a half of homes to the south of the original Riverside Park were torn down, beginning in the late 1960s. That land then stood mostly vacant for decades, with the exception of occasional garden plots. Even before all the homes were demolished, though, MPS changed its plans.

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By 1991, the entire expanse had become crime-ridden, including the area between what was by then a bike trail (but had earlier been railroad tracks) and the Milwaukee River. It was filled with trash and invasive plant species. It was time to reclaim the park, but the concerned neighbors weren’t at all sure how they were going to do it. After a lot of thought, they decided to begin by cleaning it up, with the ultimate goal of using the park to teach neighborhood children about ecology and being friends of the earth. Litter and crime would be replaced with learning. A double-wide trailer was placed just north of Park Place and east of the bike trail. MPS had built tennis courts at the southern end of the property. UEC was able to arrange a land swap, of sorts, with MPS to use the westernmost court space. The earliest classes began in the trailer. It wasn’t until 2004 that the award-winning Riverside Park location of the Urban Ecology center opened. Looking back, “I inherited a fair amount of angst,” said Ken Leinbach, UEC executive director since 1998. The trailer sat on MPS-owned land, while a good portion of Riverside Park was owned by Milwaukee County, making the center’s standing somewhat tenuous. But in relatively short order, UEC worked out a preservation lease with the county for $1 per year. The center now manages the county-owned portion of the parkland with volunteers. A capital campaign followed shortly thereafter, based on the long list of schools that already had asked to have their students participate in UEC activities. The early goal of saving Riverside Park was realized. “We essentially turned a problem into an asset,” Leinbach said.

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“"The land was healed with volunteers, and kids were learning about their environment"

Just as the Riverside Park location grew out of a desire to save the park, the Washington Park and Menomonee Valley sites were “natural” areas in the city that needed restoration. According to Leinbach, in planning all three locations UEC took certain factors into account: a nearby body of water, woods and fields; proximity to schools; and some measure of wealth in the surrounding neighborhood.

“"We knew

we needed the neighbors"’

To help to sustain our program economically,” Leinbach explained. The mission of all three UEC sites can be boiled down to “intentionally/institutionally getting kids connected to nature with adult mentors,” Leinbach said. The founders never intended the center to be a model for anyone else. “I think you do something and it can become a model, if it works,” Leinbach said. “You don’t set out to create a model.” But it has turned into one, even internationally. Author Richard Louv mentioned UEC in his book “Last Child in the Woods.” Leinbach recently received an e-mail from a professor in Bangladesh who read Louv’s book and wants to create a program there based on what UEC has done.


Connet with Nature In the U.S., cities from San Diego to Syracuse and in between have consulted with UEC staff on creating similar programs in their cities. Dennis Grzezinski, a UEC board member, describes three aspects of the center that have contributed to its success: environmental education, a community center and a nature center. The variety of programming is based on just a few primary concepts, Grzezinski said. “Proximity of the students to the center promotes deeper relationships between the students and the educators as mentors or models,” he said. Schools that participate must be within a 2-1/2 mile radius. That makes it easier for the students to return to the center over and over and establish a connection to a natural place that has different seasons, where they can plant bushes and trees and watch them grow over time. Grzezinski also is a man who believes in miracles. He has seen it time and again in fundraising for the center.“Miracles continue to happen,” he said. “We just need to prepare the ground, plant the seed, and add fertilizer and water.”

One such miracle was a woman who lived near the Riverside Park site. In her will, she left a portion of her estate to UEC. Initially, her lawyer estimated $75,000 to $100,000 would come to the center. Subsequently, however, her family discovered several corporate bonds in books throughout her home, including between the carpeting and wood floor! The center received about triple the original estimate. “This organization … comes from humble, common-sense, low-budget origins,” Grzezinski said. “We do things on a shoestring budget. Environmentalism is about using resources carefully and not wasting them.” Those humble origins made the estate gift that much more remarkable.When Leinbach was studying environmental education in graduate school, he recalls thinking that the world is a fragile place and we humans weren’t helping. Through the Urban Ecology center’s three locations, many humans are helping —reclaiming, rebuilding and maintaining fragile, natural places for the long term, and creating a stronger sense of community in the process.

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Algae Pollution "This is not just a Milwaukee problem." Algae are a diverse array of organisms, which a type of protist that carry on photosynthesis that closely resembles plants. It has been classified as plant because it has many similarities like having chlorophyll a and carry on photosynthesis with a membrane-bounded plastid. There are different types of algae that comes in different colors such as red, golden, blue- green. The difference between them is algae, doesn’t develop from embryo as plants do, but also lacking roots, stem and leafs. The most important sources for its growth is light, temperature, and nutrients. They are found in streams, rivers, lakes and pond near shallow water attach to rocks, logs; vegetation or in dense mats that floats on the water. Algae growth typically peak in the spring and then decline because it gets most of high nutrient levels in the spring. Photosynthesis is the process used by plant to convert sunlight energy to change carbon dioxide (oxygen) and water (hydrogen) into starches and sugars. Theses starches and sugars are food for the plants. Chlorophyll is the

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reason that algae get it food by creating by while absorbing the sunlight using its green pigment. When the sunrays make contact with chlorophyll, the electron in the reaction center molecule becomes excited and energized. The sun is the main power source that powers the process of photosynthesis. By taking carbon dioxide from the air and mixing it with water to make carbohydrates for plants. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches that algae use it as one of food sources that comes from light. Energy from sunlight controls the metabolism of lakes derived directly from solar energy using photosynthesis; light is energy that is of working or being transformed. Radiant energy is one that can change into potential energy by biochemical reactions, such as photosynthesis or heat. Temperature uses biochemical reactions which is part of photosynthesis. Depending on the warm season, it increase the rates of photosynthesis and respiration. When it reach the growing limit, the rate of food used by respiration may peck the rate that food is made

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by: Keenen Edwards by photosynthesis. Phosphorus is a vital macronutrient for photosynthesis and helping cellular growth and reproduction. It is part of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is a cellular energy transfer that transports chemical energy within the cell in algae. That is the reason phosphorus is one of the primary nutrients in plant growth that helps transfer solar energy into chemical energy. It also includes transformation of sugars, and starches and nutrient movement within the plant. So it helps algae get its light source and food, which help it grow. Human activity can cause an increase of phosphorus with mining, farming and sewage treatment plants with its run off into the lakes. This can lead to eutrophication. Nitrogen is a macronutrient that is a part of chlorophyll, all living cells are necessary part of proteins, enzymes and metabolic processes involved in the transfer of energy. Algae can pull nitrogen from the atmosphere by converting it into ammonium or nitrate. It can even come from natural run-off like storm water. The way nitrogen contributes to


Environment

Silica also known as silicon dioxide is a beneficial nutrient. Silica is one of the richest elements in the earth's crust. Silica can’t be used by plants in just any form; so first it must be converted into silica acid. Silica helps plants withstand temperature, such as heat and protection against insects. Diatom is classified as algae; silica is the main source for the structure of diatom. It builds the skeleton strengthening for diatoms, all plants use it to strength the cell walls and giving plants stability. Diatoms use the pigments chlorophyll a and c to collect energy from the sun through photosynthesis. The cells store energy from photosynthesis in the form of chrysolaminarin (which are carbohydrate) and lipids. Also, silica depends on light to keep algae growing.

water builds up in nutrients, but with human activity speeding up the process; it can lead to algal bloom. That appears as green scum that floats on water. When algae dies off, it use up all the oxygen in the lake causing a mass killing of fish. Phosphate and nitrogen in the water can be link to algal blooms that can cause deadly toxins. It could also not be a bad thing for lakes, ponds, streams and rivers

because it gives nourishment to those environments. But when the nutrient enrichment goes above it limits it cause the ecosystem to suffer.

Urban Runoffs in rivers 100 90 80

Pollution

algae growth is by converting it into inorganic forms like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Nitrification is the produce of nitrate, nitrogen gas converts to nitrate in the air when cosmic radiation, and lighting provides high energy needed to react with oxygen. All three inorganic forms contributes to cyanobacteria also known as blue-green algae, it is a phylum of bacteria.

70 60 50 40 30 20 10

33%

83%

60%

Rivers watershedes Menomonee river

Kinnickinnic river Milwaukee River

Eutrophication is natural process that happens in the aging lake or pond as that body of

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Article by: Leslie Fedorchuk 13

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A

bout Service Learning at MIAD.

As MIAD’s Service Learning Program concludes its fourteenth year, we continue to build our base of community partners and to make substantial contributions to many different sectors of the southeastern Wisconsin community. Every year we get many compliments from partner agencies on the creativity and dedication of MIAD students. Our student’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities that support exemplary community service programs and best practices in campus-community partnerships. MIAD distinguishes itself as a leader in art and design colleges by being one of the first to implement a required Service Learning Program comprising intensive courses and a minimum of 35 hours of community service per student.Over the past year (Summer 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015), students worked approximately 4,700 hours in southeastern Wisconsin nonprofit agencies. According to research done by the Independent Sector Organization, the value of volunteer time in 2012 was $22.14 per hour. This means that over the last year, MIAD students contributed over $104,056 in volunteer labor to improve their local communities.

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“Service Learning Collaborates with

Milwaukee River Advocates�

The value of the program, however, extends beyond its impact on the wider community. For students, service learning adds a rich, hands-on component to their education and gives them the opportunity to experience and discuss the many ways in which individuals can make a positive impact on those around them. MIAD students are discovering previously untapped skills and revealing new components of their personalities.

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While walking the trail on the west bank of the Milwaukee River, between Capital Drive and Locust Street in Riverwest, Julia Kirchner ran into a representative of the Milwaukee River Advocates Cooperative – a group whose mission is to preserve and renew the natural habitat of the Milwaukee River. They began talking, and soon enough, decided to collaborate.

Building Communities Kirchner teaches “Building Community” at MIAD, one of the college’s Service Learning courses. MIAD is located right along the Milwaukee River – the same river that flows past the trail on which Kirchner had recently been walking. Between these two points, however, the river changes dramatically. The view from MIAD is quite polluted. Seeing this connection as an opportunity to learn about the interaction between Milwaukee’s natural and built environments, Kirchner integrated it with her course. Students this summer would be outside and engaged with the world.

Once the class started up in early June, Kirchner led students on trips to the trail by the Milwaukee River, where they met with Milwaukee River Advocates representatives David and Petra Press. The Milwaukee River Advocates Cooperative arose to address issues surrounding the health and survival of the river environment. The area is a wildlife corridor and important green space that they are trying to protect from urban encroachment. Wildlife corridors connect sections of a habitat that have been fragmented by human activity. This allows for the movement of species, which cultivates diversity and reduces the odds of such species becoming endangered or extinct.

“"Our work to

build corridors for Wildlife"

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It goes without saying that when we degrade or overuse the environment we are destroying the natural resources on which we rely. There is also significant research, however, on the positive impact of natural or “green” landscapes on human health. Studies show that the proper green residential landscaping can actually reduce crime and strengthen communities, as well as promote their overall wellbeing. Research completed through the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, compared residential areas with trees and other greenery to those in a more or less barren landscape. The results have demonstrated that green environments have a relaxing effect on mood, they bring people together outdoors, and that a green and well-kept apartment exterior, for example, communicates to potential criminals that owners and residents care for and watch over the property and one another.

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Lake Michigan - Using fishing supplies to send a powerful message to people about there environment. September,24, 2016. Photo by Keenen Edwards

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Through the discussion of these and other ideas, as well as direct observation of the Milwaukee River and trail, the group came to a decision on plans to benefit the river environment. The main project was a boardwalk that would run the length of a portion of the unpaved trail that is particularly muddy due to natural springs. This would protect the high-traffic area from damage and at the same time keep hikers and bicyclists from getting stuck in the mud. Along with the construction of the boardwalk, students also took photographs of animals, plants, and the river environment that will be used to update the Milwaukee River Advocates brochure and in other educational and publicity materials.

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One student did extensive work on updating and repairing their website, where some of the photographs will also be used. Although students were able to contribute knowledge and skills from their own respective areas of expertise (including, but not limited to Photography, Industrial Design, Communication Design, and Illustration), all students were able to participate in all aspects of the undertaking.

After much hard work, the project has recently been brought to completion. The endeavor has allowed the students in this course to put their creative skillsets to work in a context outside of school, providing them crucial professional and life experience. With the emphasis on Kirchner’s course topic of community building, the experience has also doubled as an embodied example of how members of a community can come together to achieve a common purpose. Kirchner explained that as citizens we have the “constitutional right to freedom of assembly, but what many people don’t see is that we need public spaces in order to assemble… Green spaces such as parks are great for this,” she says. “For example, you see people from all walks of life on the trail.”

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Interview with 1. 2. 3. 4.

When did you become interest into nature? I think i was interest when i was kid playing in the wood a mile north from Riverside. Playing in trees and hiking so the Urban Ecology Center has always been important to me. How important is it for children to learn about there enviroment? I think its very important for kids to have a connection to nature and learning about the environment because we as humans have the biggest responsibly to protect the planet. During your career at UEC ; what is your best moment working here? The Grand opening of Three Bridge Park. Where we had this massive event with thousands of people coming together for this celebration. The UEC has made an big impact to the community. What do you think it will be like going forward? I guess i would like to see Milwaukee transform to a city that care about there environment. So they can vaule nature for the rest of the world.

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Q&A Glenna

Holstein 5.

How many schools or children do the UEC work with during a weekly or day basis? 19 schools dealing with neighborhood environment education project. A weekly basis about 400 children.

6. 7.

Compare to the other parks what does Menomonee Valley do differently? Well, the valley is a younger park compare to Riverside and Washington park. Also our building is flute in english and spanish.

Looking at your experence and career where do you see yourself 10 years from now? I see myself staying in Milwaukee and try to make change in my city.

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New Growth in the Menomonee

Valley 21

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Menomonee valley bridge - A kid slowly walks across the bridge. On his way to the Urban Ecology Center. november,12, 2016. Photo by Keenen Edwards

History of the Valley The Menomonee Valley has a fascinating history: from wild rice marsh to manufacturing center to infamous eyesore, and now to a national model of economic and environmental sustainability. Four miles long and a half-mile wide, the Menomonee River Valley extends from the confluence of the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers to the site of Miller Park Stadium.  For thousands of years, the 1200-acre Menomonee Valley was a wild rice marsh, home to American Indians.  The name “Menomonee” is derived from the Algonquin “meno,” meaning good, and “min,” a term for grain or fruit.  Wild rice (menomin) flourished in the extensive wetlands of the Menomonee Valley.  By the 1700s, the Potawatomi were the primary residents of the region.  Ojibwa, Fox, Menominee, Ottawa, Sauk, Winnebago and others also lived here at various times.  In 1795, Jacques Vieau, a fur trader, established the first permanent trading post in Wisconsin on the bluffs of the Valley at the site of what is now Mitchell Park.  By the mid-1800s, the settlement of Milwaukee pushed toward the Valley, and Milwaukeeans filled the marsh with soil, gravel, and waste to create dry land for additional development.  They straightened the Menomonee River and cut canals to provide shipping routes. 

Article by: Glenna Holstein

a

^

few weeks ago, I was pulling together some attendance numbers for a report. I sent them over to Jen Hense, our Director of Development, and she sent me back an email that said, “Safe to assume all of these numbers were ‘zero’ four years ago, huh? :-)” She’s right – 4 years ago there literally were zero kids playing in Three Bridges Park because there WAS NO Three Bridges Park ---

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Menomonee field - A boy gets in touch with nature, november,12, 2016. Photo by Keenen Edwards

Three Bridges Park

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It’s easy to get lost in number crunching, and her email reminded me of how incredible it is to get to do the work we do in the Menomonee Valley. In just this last year we had thousands of kiddos come through from our programming alone. (About 12,500 kids, to be exact. Plus plenty of kids  and adults  have found their way there outside of our programs, too!)

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As you may know, we work with a large number of those students through our Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP), our field trip program for schools. Through this program, we partner with schools that are within a 2 mile radius of our centers, and then provide them with field trip programming for every grade – our goal is that every student in each school comes to the Urban Ecology Center, not just one time but ideally multiple times over the course of their school career (and sometimes multiple times in one year). Our fantastic educators work closely with the students’ teachers to design programming that aligns with the school curriculum – the idea is that the Urban Ecology Center becomes an extension of the students’ classroom: an outdoor laboratory for learning.

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Currently, we work with 11 schools at the Menomonee Valley branch. And this year, we are delighted to announce that we are expanding NEEP in the Valley! We are going from 2 educators to 4 educators, essentially doubling our capacity to provide programming to schools! In this first year, we will increase to 19 schools, with the idea being to grow to 22 in the coming years. And the folks who make up our NEEP team, both new and returning,  are AWESOME!! Let me introduce them: Miguel Santos has been teaching at the Urban Ecology Center for 3 years, and anyone who has watched him teach has probably felt jealous of the kids in his program! He has an incredible,  contagious energy and an excellent rapport with students of all ages, so we are lucky to have him as a mentor for our new educators.

Michael Espinoza, who many of you know and love as our current MV Community Program Educator, will be transitioning into a new role as a NEEP educator this year, and we are thrilled to have him on board! His positivity and enthusiasm have won the hearts of many Young Scientists, and we can’t wait for even more kids to get a chance to learn from and be inspired by him!* Katie Schober is one of our new educators, and she comes to us with experience teaching  at our neighboring  Cristo Rey High School, so already  has connections to the  MV  community. She has both formal education in and natural aptitude/ passion for teaching, children, science, and nature. She easily made connections with kids when she visited a NEEP class, and has a confident, kind demeanor with a strong teaching pedagogy.

Good care - Planting flowers to keep the Valley looking pleasing, november,12, 2016. Photo by Keenen Edwards

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As the school years starts we’re ready with an amazing team, and are so excited for kids to learn from such talented and passionate educators! And as with any growth, there are challenges that come along with the excitements – it’s all part of the process. If you’ve visited the Menomonee Valley branch, you know it has quite a bit smaller footprint than our other two branches, so we are going to become experts at space sharing! You can definitely help with that too – your patience as we learn how to use our space to its full capacity is much appreciated. You might notice slightly more commotion during the school day as twice as many groups come through the building.

Under the bridge -observing the valley passage, november,12, 2016. Photo by Keenen Edwards

Carlos Manriquez is our other new educator, and he has most recently been working  with teenagers at Waukesha County Health and Human Services. He was drawn to the UEC through his personal passions around nature and the health benefits of the outdoors. Carlos is a deeply compassionate person with a warm and thoughtful demeanor, and he has an  impressive natural aptitude/intuition for teaching. He is fully bilingual and has lots of personal and professional connections to the South Side community.

"so we hope you'll join us in enjoying the ruckus”after all, what sound is more Urban Ecology Center,”than the jubilant sounds of learning?"

*And we are just as excited about Eric Kleppe-Montenegro, who will be taking over the Community Program Educator position that Michael is leaving. Eric  comes to us with a wide variety of youth organizing and community education experience, and he is TRI-lingual! (English, Spanish, & Portuguese!). His educational background is in Sociology, as well as Latino Studies and Social Change and he has a clear passion for community work, particularly with young people. We were  “wow-ed” by his application and interview, and we are all super excited to have his new energy on the team.

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We will still maintain all our offerings for adults and families, so you won’t miss out on anything – you just may be sharing the building (and the park!) with more people. Which is a good thing! So, in four years we’ve gone from zero to over 12,500 in terms of visits from children this year – can you imagine how many more kiddos will be coming through our doors (and more importantly, OUT our doors and into the park!) In the coming year!? It’s pretty exciting. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to connect more people to nature right in their neighborhood, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of our community (that’s you!) That make it possible.


UEC at the Valley, november,12, 2016. Photo by Keenen Edwards

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Contributors Urban Ecology center at (Riverside and Menomonee valley) Leslie Fedorchuk Glenna Holstein Peggy Schulz Antonio Gonsalo Cendejas Lynnett Taylor Adam Setala Daron Hart, Zahnya Hunter and Brynez Hunter

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