On April 9, 2012, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership was honored at the Minnesota Timberwolves game as part of their ‘Think Green Month.’ We were able to salute a few of MEP’s key volunteers during halftime as ‘Heroes in the Making.’ It was our pleasure to designate Jim and Merlene Stiles with this recognition.
Jim and Merlene have been environmental leaders in their hometown of Austin, Minn., for many years. Jim owns SuperFresh Produce and Garden Center, a local, sustainable grocery store and greenhouse. He is also the president of the Austin chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
Merlene is the conservation issues chair for the Austin Izaak Walton League as well as a member of the League of Women Voters, Audubon, and other conservation organizations.
Jim, Merlene and the entire Izaak Walton League chapter in Austin have engaged thousands of Minnesotans in protecting our water and our Great Outdoors. The couple organizes annual visits between Austin residents and legislators so that community members have the opportunity to discuss conservation issues with their elected Senator and Representative. Perhaps most impressive is their coordination of an annual bus trip to the Capitol: Each year, 35-40 constituents pay their own way to board a bus from Austin to the State Capitol in Saint Paul to hear the latest legislative news from the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and meet with legislators.
By connecting their neighbors with elected officials, as well as being green leaders in their community, Jim and Merlene are doing important work to ensure we keep the ‘great’ in Minnesota’s Great Outdoors!
Read more about Jim and Merlene’s recognition in this story by the Timberwolves.