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Davita Flowers-Shanklin

Davita Flowers-Shanklin

A Milwaukee Native, Davita’s love for nature came from her time spent in her neighborhood park (Washington Park), the summers spent at camp, and visiting family in the Rocky Mountains. Davita’s dreams spanned from swimming with dolphins as a marine biologist, trekking into the great savannas of Africa as a big cat vet, and breathing in lots of old dust as a Egyptologist. Dreams change, Davita got her B.A. from Macalester College and M.S. from the University of Oregon, both degrees in environmental studies with concentrations in biology, ecological restoration, and environmental justice. She loves to travel and work outside. She has two cats and loves going to the movies.

Thursday, 21 October 2021 16:09

Virtual Volunteer Appreciation Party

The leaves are turning and the cool air is unpredictable, fall is here! As we are taking in the wonderful fall activities, the Volunteer Department at the UEC is slowing down and wrapping up some of our ongoing volunteer opportunities, and getting ready to celebrate you, our wonderful volunteers.

Monday, 22 March 2021 16:43

Earth Week 2021

Spring is officially here and with that comes new life, the sun, and Earth Day (April 22nd)! It is hard to believe that this time last year we were gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day at all three of our centers. Because of the pandemic, and wanting to keep everyone safe, we decided to cancel our celebration. Not only was canceling sad for us, but it also was sad for you! Truthfully, the hundreds of volunteers that usually come for Earth Day were missed tremendously at all three of our locations. We missed the hundreds of pounds of trash pulled out of our parks and waterways, we missed the piles and piles of invasive species being removed, the trails being maintained, the smothering fabric being removed. Our land stewards and facilities teams spent last spring and summer just trying to catch up on all the work that our wonderful volunteers would have helped us with in celebration of Earth Day. We were reminded how much we love and appreciate our volunteers, and how much our natural areas rely on the work you do every time you volunteer with us, whether it's Earth day or not.

Friday, 10 April 2020 17:48

What to Do for Earth Day 2020

It's hard to believe that Earth Day is right around the corner. In some ways it feels like March was years ago and that we had so much time until Earth Day. When I look back before the "Safer at Home" state order was issued, we at the Urban Ecology Center were gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day through our Earth Day of Service event. We were excited to partner with Milwaukee Riverkeeper for their 25th annual Spring River Cleanup, partner with organizations and businesses in our communities to work on projects in our parks, to partner with neighbors and schools to come together to clean up our community and celebrate the earth.

Friday, 10 April 2020 17:30

50 years of Earth Day!

Did you know that Earth Day started 50 years ago by Wisconsin's very own Sen. Gaylord Nelson?

It's true! Originally, Earth Day was called the National Environmental Teach-in. The goal was to have a national day of ecological observance in order to mobilize public sentiment towards environmental issues and to positively impact future ecological decisions. Sen. Nelson based his idea around the teach-ins taking place all over the country around the Vietnam War. He hoped that students around the country would want to hold events on the same day to help grab the attention of news outlets and most importantly, lawmakers in Washington DC.

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 14:30

Volunteer Appreciation Party 2019

We are so excited for fall in the Volunteer Department, not just because we get a lot of awesome fall volunteers, but because fall means it is almost time for the Volunteer Appreciation Party! We spend the fall reflecting on the past year as an organization, and we especially love to think about how truly amazing our Volunteers are.

As many of you know, the Urban Ecology Center was started by a group of volunteers and because of this, volunteers are integrated into every part of what we do. We have volunteers helping by leading programs, be with school groups or with research and community scientists.

Volunteers help on our land by picking up trash, planting native species, mulching trails, and removing invasive species. They also help us as receptionists, they help with mailings, and the fix things around our building.  This year over 3,600 individuals volunteered more than 22,000 hours of their time. That is INCREDIBLE! That’s approximately 916 days!

Here at the UEC, we have always loved working with volunteers. Actually, as many of you know, the Center was started by a group of neighbors volunteering their time to create something special. Volunteerism has always been a part of who we are and what we do, and it always will. This last year we had over 4,500 volunteers walk through our doors (or into our parks!), how amazing is that?!

Monday, 15 October 2018 12:48

Volunteer Appreciation Party 2018

If you're a UEC volunteer, YOU are the reason we're able to the many things we do. You are an integral part of helping our community get outdoors, so we're throwing you a party! Come for heavy hors-d'oeuvres, dessert, a special thank you from the staff and more! RSVP today for a night of fun, laughs, love, and gratitude.

Thursday, 03 March 2016 17:07

Hey High Schoolers! We Need Your Help!

Looking to get some last minute service hours in before graduation? Want to give back to the community while having a great time? The Urban Ecology Center at Washington Park is the place for you! We are excited to have special opportunities for students who need to fulfill their service hours for graduation.

We are always excited to find new ways to connect high school students to the natural world. It is important to us that students have a place to go that is fun, safe and helps them gain skills that can lead to future success.

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