What does a Mom and environmental lawyer do after leading a statewide enviro-coalition into its second half-century and serving as a City of St. Louis Alderperson? This one, Heather Navarro, takes on directing climate action for the Midwest U.S.
The Midwest Climate Collaborative, based at Washington University in St. Louis, envisions a carbon neutral, climate resilient, interconnected Midwest Region. This is seeing big: if the Midwest US (a dozen states) were a country, we'd be the sixth largest Carbon emitter in the world. Heather Navarro is on it!
Launched with an online summit in January, 2022, this partnership to date includes universities, cities, NGOs, companies and cultural institutions. Students are working in leadership roles: connecting formal research projects, educating educators, and asset mapping are activities so far, seeking options to work with the agriculture and industry sectors that powering Midwestern economics.
Solutions, strategies and shared actions are the focus of this Earthworms conversation!
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Sierra Club national staff and Earthworms audio engineer - and to Jon Valley, KDHX production pro.
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Historic Greenwood Cemetery, terrestrial resting place of over 50,000 Black human beings, embodies the paradox of dis- and respect that our species can so profoundly bring to pass. In a heartfelt complementarity, Greenwood also offers one of our region's best opportunities for environmental and cultural service.
Shelley and Rafael Morris, leaders of the Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association, first shared with KDHX Earthworms in January 2018 the significance of the oldest non-sectarian African American cemetery in the St. Louis region - and the moving story of efforts to reclaim the grounds from invasive plants and illegal dumping. Four years later, Greenwood's network of volunteers and supporters has certainly grown, yet the need persists for fiscal and work party support.
Good news is that multiple STL companies have adopted Greenwood as a reoccurring focus of service and monetary support. AmeriCorps St. Louis volunteers are regular workers. About half of Greenwood's T-shaped 31.85 acres have been freed from human and plant debris. From the Morris's deep commitment, discussions are beginning to observe the 150th anniversary of Greenwood Cemetery's founding, in 2024. With equity a priority for so many enterprises, what might be accomplished by then?
This year, NBC News featured Greenwood for a Black History Month story on the plight - and pluck - of those working to resurrect Black cemetery dignity and heritage. Good to get this degree of spotlight, plenty more work and outreach to come.
Related Earthworms Conversations: Meeting Greenwood Cemetery (Jan 2018)
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms Engineer, and to Andy Coco and Jon Valley of KDHX Production Team.
As climate change threatens native plant populations, freezers in a lab in Gray Summit, Missouri are helping to preserve seeds vital to potentially restoring communities of these plants.
Meg Englehardt, Seed Bank Manager for Missouri Botanical Garden, is guardian of these precious resources. What's involved with Seed Banking? Why is this (vitally!) important? And how does the Garden's work in this area contribute to biodiversity, overall? This Earthworms conversation digs into Seed Bank details.
THANKS to Earthworms Engineer, Andy Heaslet, and to KDHX Production wizards Jon Valley and Andy Coco.
Related Earthworms Conversations: A Cinematic Ode to Seed Savers (Nov 2016)
Meditation practice can lead a person to understand causes and outcomes, prompt awareness of impacts and impulses, ground the perception that change is an only constant - and foster a commitment to act with loving kindness. Valuable for our toddler human species, busy whacking at all around us. And a tall order, that's not out of reach.
What transpires when meditation practice focuses on our human relationship with Earth? Lisa Hoover is exploring this space.
Lisa peer-leads the weekly practice of White Oak Sangha, based in the Missouri Ozarks, grounded in the Western Insight meditation tradition. This winter, she is exploring relationships to Earth, through an intensive class hosted online by the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.
Earthworms host Jean Ponzi took advantage of Zoom access (vs. an hour from St. Louis drive) to join this group when 2020 pandemic adaptations moved meetings online. Sharing their love of Earth, Jean shares insights with Lisa Hoover.
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms audio engineer, and to Jon Valley and Andy Coco, the KDHX Production team.
Related Earthworms Conversations:
State legislators are heading back into session. Another year of biz-as-usual - or worse? A powerful coalition of advocates recently moved Illinois lawmakers to achieve results for people, planet and economics.
Andy Heaslet, Earthworms' own audio engineer, dug into the details of CEJA, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act enacted into Illinois law in September 2021. He shares the story from his research for Masters' level coursework at Southern Illinois University, which was one nexus of collaborative activism that make this landmark policy a law both powerful and replicable.
Give a listen - be inspired!
Thanks, Andy, for how Earthworms sounds - with THNX as well to Jon Valley and Andy Coco of KDHX Production.
Related Earthworms Conversations: Diversifying Power: Energy Democracy with Jennie C. Stephens (Sept 2020)