Coalition Report

By Heather Navarro
Executive Director
Missouri Coalition For The Environment

Leave A Legacy With Your Voice

Not everyone can purchase land in large quantities to protect the environment like Leo Drey, one of MCE’s founders, did, but we can all share his foresight. If you have ever planted a tree you know it’s hard work to prepare the soil, dig the hole, and water it every day. If you have a small city backyard like I do you have to imagine that tree in 20 years and strategize its placement so it doesn’t end up too close to the house or tangled up in power lines.

We planted three trees the day my daughter was born and it’s a pleasure to watch her play under them almost ten years later. I can only imagine the gratification if I were to watch my grandchildren playing under them. It’s an investment of time and well worth it.

Equally as important as the time spent planting trees is the time spent engaging in advocacy. I recently met someone who played a small role as a high school student in the Meramec Dam Fight. With pride, she can now point to the beautiful, winding Meramec River and the forests and valleys alongside it and tell her son that she helped make that possible. The next generation is better off because of the time she took decades ago.

Governmental actors make decisions every day that impact our health and the health of our children and grandchildren. It takes time to make a phone call or attend a hearing but these actions can change history. Elected officials are driven by short-term thinking. Special interests are driven by private gain.

The voices that are missing are those representing the people, the public good, and future

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) has been hosting public hearings on the proposed rate increases to fix our aging systems but turnout has been low. These upgrades will take years to complete and the impacts will last generations. Everyone in the St. Louis region will be impacted through the rate increases, construction, or improvement in water quality and green infrastructure.

There are opportunities to make your voice heard on this and other issues around the region. Check out moenvironment.org to learn how you can leave a legacy with your voice.