We still have spaces available on Field Trips in Milwaukee! Join us on a Field Trip in this urban nature gem and learn how urban environments and nature can coexist.

View of Milwaukee skyline from Lakeshore State Park

Milwaukee skyline as viewed through Lakeshore State Park’s flora. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Discovering Milwaukee’s Urban Ecosystems

Amidst Wisconsin’s breath-taking green spaces, there’s an unexpected urban gem that is host to a plethora of intersectionality in our environment. Milwaukee is home to not only 600,000 Wisconsinites, but also to a variety of urban ecosystems and wildlife species. Natural areas throughout the county include woodlands, prairies, ephemeral (temporary) wetlands, and the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Common critters that call Milwaukee home include white-tailed deer, downy woodpeckers and prairie crayfish. A few of the most common native plants to the city are common milkweed, stiff goldenrod, wild geranium, and many more!

Close up of yellow flower in a prairie

Close up of a Stiff Goldenrod. Photo by Caitlin Williamson.

The Natural Resources Foundation is committed to reaching every part of Wisconsin that we can to make our Field Trips as accessible and representative of our state as possible. Milwaukee is no exception to that. We have been doing Field Trips in Milwaukee for the better part of two decades!

Our first Milwaukee Field Trip took place in the summer of 1995 at Havenwoods State Forest. Participants learned about the urban state forest and its insect residents with Field Trip leader, Jackie Scharfenberg.

People looking at plants in a field at Havenwoods State Forest

Field Trip participants on NRF Field Trip at Havenwoods State Forest. Photo by Dena St. Clair

Milwaukee Field Trips with spaces still available

For our 2024 Field Trip season, we still have FIVE more Field Trips in Milwaukee with open spaces! By participating in a Milwaukee-based Field Trip, you can learn how urban environments and nature can coexist. Learning about the urban-nature interface is just as important as learning about a secluded prairie located in rural Wisconsin.

If you would like to stay educated on Milwaukee’s urban green spaces, take a look at the Field Trips below that still have open spaces!

In chronological order (the amount of open spaces below are accurate as of the day the blog was published):

Field Trip #165 “Lakeshore State Park: Urban Oasis” *ACCESSIBLE*

Friday, July 19th from 10am-11:30am

Cost: $18

Lakeshore is one of the newest and most urban of Wisconsin’s State Parks. Located on a Peninsula in Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, it sports spectacular views of both the city and lake. Hike through its shortgrass prairies to learn about ecology and marvel at the surprising diversity of wildlife, plants, and birds that inhabit this cherished park.

Number of open spaces: 3

Field Trip #179 “Urban Nature Photography”

Friday, July 26th from 10am-12pm

Cost: $18

Have you ever seen a prairie in full bloom in the heart of downtown Milwaukee? Explore Three Bridges Park along the Hank Aaron State Trail and discover this unique place in a fun way: capturing the flora and fauna through a camera lens! Learn photography tips and tricks from an expert teacher. Bring any camera, including a DSLR or smartphone, but no camera is required.

Number of open spaces: 9

Field Trip #230 “Kayaking the Kinnikinnic: The Urban Watershed”

Friday, September 13th from 1pm-4:30pm

Cost: $53

For experienced paddlers only: possible big waves and wind. Explore the heart of Milwaukee’s South Side by kayak! The Kinnikinnic River Watershed is the most urbanized watershed in the entire state — though paddling in a kayak, you might not know it! Learn about river history, restoration, and green infrastructure. Spot herons, turtles, and other urban wildlife. Kayaks and gear included.

Number of open spaces: 5

Field trip #239 “Urban Prairies: Restoration at Lakeshore State Park”

Friday, September 20th from 10am-11:30am

Cost: $18

Explore Wisconsin’s only urban state park! Located on a peninsula in Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, enjoy spectacular views of both the city and lake. Hike through shortgrass prairies to learn about history, ecology and the surprising diversity of plants and birds that inhabit this cherished park. Get hands-on helping with seed collection and dispersal too!

Number of open spaces: 10

three people kayaking on the Milwaukee River

2023 Diversity in Conservation Internship interns kayaking on the Milwaukee River. Photo by Cait Williamson

Our appreciation for everyone who has contributed to this year’s Field Trips, as well as past years, extends far. From our members, to our partners, our Field Trip leaders, and more! None of our efforts to make Wisconsin’s natural areas accessible would be possible without everyone doing their part. Thank you all.

Written by Jaeden Carrasquillo, Communications Intern