Photos by Sally Wagoner
Community members with a passion and concern for the local Newaygo County environment are urged to attend the meeting on Thursday, October 11. It will be held at 7 p.m. in Brooks Township Hall, 490 Quarterline Street, Newaygo.
“This will be the first meeting of the Citizens Environmental Watch and Action Coalition following the People’s Climate March held in Newaygo on September 8,” states Sally Kane, one of the coordinators of the March and a 3R Education Board Member. “People who attended the march were inspired by the speakers and many expressed a desire to carry that energy into action.”
“We live in a beautiful part of Michigan, and there are many dedicated individuals and organizations working hard to keep it that way,” adds Linda Ritz-White, Executive Director of 3R Education and a Coalition coordinator. “Some goals of this new coalition are to learn about and support the work already being done for our local environment, identify issues of concern, and partner with current organizations and our government entities to create effective solutions.”
Some issues that have been identified are the difficulties of maintaining a sustainable recycling program; the extensive use of pesticides by the private and public sectors that causes severe declines in bee and pollinator populations; contamination of food and waters from indiscriminate use of herbicides and toxic disposal practices; and loss of native habitats and species that are essential in supporting our area’s unique local web of life.
“Newaygo County residents love the natural beauty of our area and the bounty offered to those who hunt for the family table,” states Sally Wagoner, another Climate March and Coalition coordinator. “But it is painful to see how things have changed so much even in our lifetimes because of harmful practices. How is fishing compared to 30 years ago? Have you noticed how few butterflies and lightning bugs there are now from when you were a child? How many more communities will find PFAS in their wells?”
“We hope to create a robust coalition of citizens and organizations who can work together in positive ways to help improve the quality of our natural environment,” adds Wagoner. “It is our responsibility to care for our local piece of Earth not only for the benefit of our future generations, but also as good stewards for the inhabitants of our natural world who cannot speak for themselves.”
For more information everyone is invited to come to the meeting on October 11. You can also email NewaygoClimateMarch@gmail.com; call 231.519.9471; or visit the 3R Education website for a flyer about the event - www.3r-Education.org.