Ericka is the Director of Engagement for WMEAC. She works with WMEAC’s volunteer and internship program, marketing and communications, and the Inclusion and Diversity for Environmental Allies and Leaders (IDEAL) Committee.
Ericka originally hails from Detroit, MI, but grew up in northern Indiana. She studied Wildlife at Purdue University and worked in conservation education before returning to earn her M.S. in Behavior, Education, and Communication at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
She comes to WMEAC from her work with the Elkhart Environmental Center, a 66-acre community outreach facility under the city’s Public Works and Utilities, where she oversaw all aspects of the center’s operations and programming. Ericka focused on community outreach and education, developing partnerships with city departments, corporations, businesses, local organizations and grassroots groups in order to expand the center’s capacity to reach audiences throughout the city and support environmental action. Ericka drastically expanded the success and reach of events including the city’s Arbor Day event and EnviroFest, an environmental festival.
She also worked with the city’s Forestry Division and local woodworkers to develop the ElkhartWood program, a community-sustained program that supported education and community tree planting projects through the sale of logs from city trees to local woodworkers. The program received the Indiana Arborist Association’s Gold Leaf Beautification Award in 2015. One of her most significant accomplishments was leading the development of the center’s first Master Plan with a focus on environmental justice in order to transform the center into a community asset that supports public and environmental health for everyone.
Ericka has served on the Board of the Environmental Education Association of Indiana and was the Conference Chair for the 2015 state conference “Great lakes Literacy – awareness, education and environmental justice.” She is passionate about environmental justice and believes in supporting community members with the tools, information, and resources that they need to affect the positive changes they want to see in their community.