Students at the Urban Ecology Center get so involved in what they’re doing — and have so much fun — they don’t even realize how much they’re learning!
From tapping maple trees for syrup, to ice skating on the Washington Park lagoon, to donning hip waders and carrying magnifying glasses to look for damselflies, leeches, clams and crayfish in the Milwaukee River , there is always an opportunity for nature based learning!
In the city, people often live in apartment buildings and school grounds are often covered in cement. The Urban Ecology Center offers unique urban sanctuaries and “outdoor laboratories” for neighborhood school children.
The UEC’s staff and volunteers serve as adult mentors to guide students, year after year, as they progress through school.
Based on this model, the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) partners with schools within a two-mile radius of our branches at Riverside, Washington, and Three Bridges Parks. Rather than arranging for single field trips, each participating school signs up for an entire year. This provides them with multiple visits to each park, spread throughout the school year, and ongoing participation in the program each year.
If your school is outside the two-mile limit, scroll down to "more opportunities" to learn other options!
We provide foundational nature-based outdoor programs that bring neighborhood green spaces to life with hands-on explorations for curious minds!
From rock climbing to twilight hikes, our Adventures are designed to foster team-building while learning a new outdoor skill to take with you.
Winter Adventures Menu
Spring Adventures Menu
The nationally recognized Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP)’s innovative approach to environmental education offers a unique opportunity for you to supplement your science curricula. With NEEP, schools partner with the Urban Ecology Center for an entire year, transforming the experience from just another field trip to a permanent outdoor classroom where you can reinforce science concepts taught in class with hands-on outdoor activities during multiple visits.
Our science-based programs range from basic wildlife and ecology studies, to the physics of sound and light, to simple machines, to energy, to recycling. At a time when physical education programs are being cut, the UEC also offers valuable kinesthetic learning opportunities, including rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, snow shoeing and ice skating. Our custom designed programs meet the needs and desires of the teachers and school districts.
To find out more about why the Urban Ecology Center is more than just a field trip site, contact Lynn Anders, Environmental Education Manager, (414) 964-8505, x103 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Environmental Education Advancement Project selected the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project as one of the most unique and effective programs in the state, inviting us to share our model with five different urban regions in Wisconsin.
The Urban Ecology Center relies on community sponsors to help provide terrific programming to schools. Each school contributes a portion of the cost for a NEEP contract and generous donors and corporate partners contribute the remainder. Contact our Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager, Meenal Atre, at (414) 964-8505, x136 or email@example.com, if you or your organization would like to become a NEEP sponsor.
Ensure environmental education is available for students in Milwaukee!
For the 2022-2023 year, the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project (NEEP) was supported by*:
*Last updated 6/19/23
Through the Preschool Environmental Education Project (PEEP), participants form relationships with the nature in their neighborhoods through a wide range of educational options. PEEP offerings include traditional school year, seasonal and summer experiences for young children and year-round opportunities for grown ups who teach and inspire children. This ensures our youngest children have multiple opportunities to connect with the outdoors.
We also offer fun and engaging educational opportunities for adults! PEEP offers a wide variety of presentations, focus workshops, seminars, and credit courses such as:
Virtual and In-person options are available. Registry Credit is available for all pieces of training.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nature-based Early Childhood Team if you would like more information or have any questions!
NbEC Educators Alex LaBonte, Matt FlowerPEEP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / PEEP Phone Number: 414-626-8564
Summer camps at the UEC are oh so special. Kids form a connection to nature through hands-on adventures and healthy outdoor fun!
The camp website will be available to browse on January 17th, and camps will officially open February 6th.
Camps are available for kiddos in pre-k all the way through 8th grade and there is no shortage of activities to choose from! Biking, Fishing, Forest Camp, Outdoor Detectives are just a few from the selection of camps you can expect!
Whether you are teaching the basics of birds or looking to liven up your after-school program, the Center has many opportunities that will excite your students. The following programs are available for all Milwaukee area schools.
We provide foundational nature-based outdoor programs that bring neighborhood green spaces to life with hands-on explorations for curious minds! From rock climbing to twilight hikes, our Adventures are designed to foster team-building while learning a new outdoor skill to take with you.
Bridging the gap between research and the community is the goal of the Community Science program. If you are interested in involving students in hands-on research, such as bird monitoring or monarch tagging, contact Tim Vargo, Manager of Research and Community Science, (414) 964-8050 ext. 116, email@example.com.
What can be better than learning by doing? Help the Urban Ecology Center improve the natural areas of our parks and learn about these important habitats through a service learning project. Contact Davita Flowers-Shanklin , Volunteer Program Manager, (414) 964-8505 ext. 110, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We offer lots of public programs for families! Check out our Events Calendar to see what we have to offer, including weekend programs.