Washington Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is a nearly 135-acre home to a wide diversity of birds, wildlife and lovely mature trees. Host to a large lagoon and natural area, it is a beautiful place to get outdoors and the Urban Ecology Center branch here is stocked with canoes, fishing poles and snow shoes

Here are some highlights:

The Young Scientists Club! Every weekday the Urban Ecology Center has exciting afterschool programs for kids. Your child can join the Young Scientists Club and go on scientific explorations, do yoga, plant gardens and native plants, and harvest food or remove invasive species with an experienced education team.

The ALL NEW Native Wisconsin Animal Room! Have you ever wanted to get close to a turtle? Befriend a frog? Visit the Center’s new Native Wisconsin Animal Room, complete with a 560 gallon fish tank, to find turtles, snakes, frogs, and fish. Ask a staff member for a schedule of when you can help feed or meet the animals up close.

Fresh water lagoon and Fredrick Law Olmsted design features – Discover the history and beauty of this remarkable park and explore the native plant communities and wetlands that hundreds of volunteers have been planting. In summer, be sure to paddle a canoe out to the island, and in winter bring your ice skates or borrow some from the center to glide around the island.

Gardens – Butterfly, rain, container, vegetable and water gardens await your discovery.

Building a new Native Wisconsin Animal room and 560 gallon fish tank!

Washington Park is surrounded by a community of people looking to revitalize their neighborhood park, preserving it from crime and neglect. Urban Ecology Center Washington Park is a proud partner of many community organizations working towards a peaceful and beautiful park.

Why Washington Park?

In 2004, a team of students from UW-Milwaukee’s Geography Department (Peter Strand, Wen Lin and Jayoung Cho) assessed green spaces in Milwaukee, using criteria they identified as “keys to success” in Riverside Park. In their final assessment of the best green spaces for urban environmental education, Washington Park topped this list.

After discussions with Sue Black, Director of Milwaukee County Parks of beginning a program at the park, the Urban Ecology Center was invited to meetings with County Parks, Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development, Local Initiative Service Corporation, Neighbors United for Washington Park, Washington Park Partners and the Washington Park Beat. Since Washington Park is four miles from Riverside Park, there will be seamless coverage from Lake Michigan all the way to Wauwatosa!

Member of Plastic Free MKE: Passionate community members, small business owners, engineers, agencies, local non-profits—all make up the Plastic-Free MKE coalition. Some members were born and raised here, some are new to the city, but all, are proud to call Milwaukee home and working hard to keep it that way. Together with other local community groups Plastic-Free MKE is working to eliminate single-use plastics in our city. Learn More.

1859 N 40th Street Milwaukee, WI

Saturday Hours
9 am - 3 pm

Sunday Hours
Not Open

Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted

Handicapped Accessible
1st floor only

Passport Site
Water Passport, Family Passport


Photo Tour