This “green” environmental community center was once a vacant tavern at 37th and Pierce. Designed by Uihlein Wilson Architects, the branch serves 22 southside schools that are clamoring for our Neighborhood Environmental Education Project. Like our building in Riverside Park, our Menomonee Valley branch serves as a model of "green" building options.
Visit Milwaukee County Transit System's website and use the Google Trip Planner to get door to door directions to our Menomonee Valley location by bus! We are located along Route 18 and Route 35. From any of those routes, get off the bus at the corner of 35th and National. Walk west on National for two blocks, then turn right (south) on 37th. The Urban Ecology Center is at the end of the block where 37th St. meets Pierce.
The Urban Ecology Center is located along the main branch of the Hank Aaron State Trail just across the Menomonee River from Canal Street. From the west on the main trail, turn right at the 37th St bridge and come through the Valley Passage to the Center. Approaching from the east or west along Canal Street, take the 37th St bridge north across the river and head through the Valley Passage to the Center. From Mitchell Park on 27th St, take the spur of the trail that runs west through Three Bridges Park and turn left at the 37th St. bridge to come through the Valley Passage to the Center. You can also check out the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail website for more info and a map or click the following link for a map of the Oak Leaf Recreational Trail for options from your location.
There is street parking available on the north side of the Urban Ecology Center along Pierce Street, 36th, 37th, and 38th Streets. You can also park across the river along Canal Street (except during Brewers games!) and walk across the bridge, through the Valley Passage, and to the Center. Both of these parking locations are also great for access to the west entrance of Three Bridges Park. Additional parking for Three Bridges Park can be found at the east entrance at the Mitchell Park Domes on 27th St.
To be more familiar with our facility, we thought it might be fun to challenge you to a mini-scavenger hunt! See if you can find the following features (there is even a Visitors Guide to help you out!)...
Snake Handle: Which door handle in the building takes the shape of a snake?
Mosaic Mural: Under the direction of artist Leann Wooten, our mosaic was made by neighborhood children, teens and adults. See if you can find the three moons depicted in the mural, symbolizing our three branches.
Exposed wooden wall: Find the exposed wooden wall from the original exterior of the tavern. Look for where a former window was filled in, and the name of a lumber company!
Solatubes: Solatube skylight fixtures help us use natural light and dispense it throughout the facility. See if you can find these innovative light fixtures throughout the building (don’t forget to check the roof!).
Square water containers: Find the post-industrial bulk containers that help us collect rainwater from our roof.
Come see the collective impact of government, businesses, nonprofits and community members all working to revitalize the heart of the city.