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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Little Free Library

Milwaukee native Tom Bugbee recently donated a Little Free Library, near the Riverside Park entrance of the Urban Ecology Center, in honor of his mother, Peggy Yundt Bugbee, a Riverside High School graduate and local resident. Filled with nature and wildlife books, this Little Free Library includes titles like America’s Wonderlands, Waters of Wisconsin and the young adult novel, Looking for Alaska. The first book donated by Tom Bugbee was And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, by Dr. Seuss. To find out why, and for more information about the Little Free Library, pick up Urban Ecology Center’s March/ April edition of River Reflections.

The growing phenomenon of Little Free Libraries started with a Hudson man that built tiny boxes designed to promote literacy and the love of reading through free book exchanges. Each Little Free Library is marked by a sign stating, “Take a Book, Leave a Book,” although it’s not a requirement. More than 400 have sprung up around the country and overseas, including more than 100 in Wisconsin, the hotbed of the movement.

For new libraries that register with, co-founder Rick Brooks, an outreach program manager in continuing studies for the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will mail an identifying sign (“Little Free Library. Take a Book Leave a Book”) and issue a charter number. The website offers a map with locations of the libraries.

Location: Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Pl., Milwaukee. For more information, call 414-964-8505.

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