MILWAUKEE — The Urban Ecology Center's goal is to get people outside and interested in nature.
The center has a variety of programs that do just that including a Community Science Survey program at the Menomonee Valley branch.
One group surveys for Odonates including dragonflies and damselflies.
"Dragonflies and damselflies are important for a variety of reasons," says Maggie Steinhauer, the research and community science coordinator at the Urban Ecology Center. "They really like to hunt mosquitoes."
The insects are also great environmental indicators. "They actually spend a majority of their lives under water as an aquatic nymph so that gives us a really good idea about water quality," Steinhauer adds.
The bugs may look scary, but they aren't. Steinhauer says they don't sting and they don't bite.
17-year-old Adriana Guzman is glad about that because she has never done anything like this program before.
"This is my first time actually doing something fun for the Urban Ecology Center because I didn't get an opportunity like this," Guzman says.
Steinhauer says it's important to learn about topics you know nothing about.
"The Urban Ecology Center is great at breaking that down and showing that anyone who has an interest in something can get out there and learn about it."
The Urban Ecology Center's annual HKE MKE is coming up Sunday, September 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The 2.5 hike is family-friendly. The route is along the Urban Ecology Center's Riverside branch, and the Milwaukee River.
Click here to register.