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Earth Week 2021

Written by Davita Flowers-Shanklin
    Monday, 22 March 2021
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.

As many of you know, Earth Day started 51 years ago and brought about the “environmental decade” which saw a public shifted in perspective on the protection of the environment, and a lot of our nation’s environmental legislation was passed including the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation act. Most famously, the Creation of the Environmental Protection Agency took place in December of 1970. 

Every year, Earthday.org decides on a theme for Earth Day. girlearthdayThis year, the theme is Restore our Earth. According to their website, the theme focuses on “natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. In this way, the theme rejects the notion that mitigation or adaptation are the only ways to address climate change. It is up to each and every one of us to Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods,9 health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity. It is expected that about 1 billion people in over 190 countries will participate in Earth Day this year. If you want to learn more about Earth Day and what you can do on the theme, check out this link

They also have a good write up and video about the history of Earth Day here

This year, because we missed you and our parks missed you we have decided to celebrate Earth Day, not just for a day, but we will be celebrating from April 17th to April 24th.  We will be offering multiple volunteer opportunities spread out at all three of our locations during that week. All of our opportunities are working to restore our park's native habitat that we use as teaching spaces for our community. Hopefully, there will be something for everyone! Most of the opportunities will be either trash pick-up, or invasive species removal, but there are a few other opportunities available.

Check out our webpage that lists all of our opportunities and sign up! As a reminder, due to the pandemic, we are not allowing walk-in volunteers for any of our events. Please register for your spot. If you are part of a group and would like to set up a special group volunteer activity, please reach out to Davita Flowers-Shanklin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your group with us!

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.

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