Written by Lindsey Wilson, Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Ever since the first Earth Day, clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems have been recognized as integral to the American way of life. Nearly half a century later, the fight for a clean and healthy environment continues. We are lucky in Minnesota to have a community of environmental advocates that cease to give up in the face of hardship. We are a community that understands the challenges we face cannot be tackled by any single person or group. We are a community that understands strength in numbers. We are a community that is resilient and enduring.
I am proud to be part of a coalition of 70 plus environmental groups working tirelessly to defend Minnesota’s environment. I am inspired each and every day by the leaders and activists in our community. Today, I urge you to spend a minute to think about the people in your community who inspire you and thank them. I encourage you to take a moment to remember the experiences that motivated you to become an environmental advocate and be grateful for them. Today is about cultivating your environmental ethic and consciously spreading it to those you interact with.
In Minnesota, we are lucky to be surrounded by folks that care deeply about our past and our future. We have made important strides over the years to protect our environment and we have overcome stiff opposition. We must continue to work hard to address the biggest challenges that we face for a brighter future in Minnesota.
What can you do to help move our community forward?
There are opportunities on the horizon that we must fight vehemently for in the Minnesota State Legislature. We must work to secure comprehensive and balanced statewide funding for an efficient transportation system that will help cut carbon and mitigate the health risks associated with air pollution. Additionally, we must invest in clean and renewable energy to preserve our four seasons and create steady income-generating jobs for Minnesotans. And, we must address the problem of water pollution from non-point source runoff fervently. As a community, we must make an earnest effort to engage people at the grassroots level and get our decision-makers to move swiftly on these issues.
Since it’s inception in 1970, Earth Day has educated, inspired, and motivated us to do better. Each year it re-enlivens our collective environmental consciousness and raises awareness of current challenges. Earth Day is about reconnecting with our community and revitalizing our movement. It is a time to reflect on our progress and to strategize our future. The fight for a healthier world will never cease. As leaders in the environmental community, it is our responsibility to engage people and get them involved. I challenge you to spark a fire in an emerging activist and transform them into a lifelong advocate. Let’s continue to grow our movement today and every day by using our stories and actions to inspire.