Community Values, Community Action (Syd B. - Oct '19)

Published in the Stevens County Times

On September 20th over 4 million people from over 150 different countries left their schools or workplaces and took to the streets to demand transformative action on the Climate Crisis. This was the largest climate mobilization in global history.

120 of the 4 million people participating in the September 20th movement were at Green River Park, right here in Morris. Those who gathered at the park ranged from elementary school to retirement age and all had a chance to share their reasons for attending the strike. This was an intergenerational community conversation about shared goals and values. I believe that these conversations highlighted many Midwestern values that we all hold dear such as: looking out for our neighbors, supporting and protecting farmers, a desire to see our children and grandchildren live happy, healthy lives, and a shared responsibility to be good stewards of the land and water. The event at Green River Park on September 20th was about gathering as a community to take action on these values.

So what actions can we take here in West Central MN to ensure that generations beyond us have a habitable planet? Ideas brought forth included starting a reusable bag program, planting more native grasses, implementing accessible walking and biking infrastructure, adding climate science to local curriculum, installing solar panels residentially and municipally for energy independence, and supporting farmers financially to implement regenerative practices. These ideas are exciting, mesh well with our community values, and most importantly, are extremely possible.

The time to take action on the Climate Crisis is now. The time to work together as a community is now. Everyone in West Central MN has an important part to play in this transformation, let’s get to work.

Syd Bauer

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