by Linden Mueller
Pictured: The author’s niece plays on the shore of the Meramec River, July 2020.
This summer, our family rented a cabin near the Meramec for a special weekend trip. At first sight, my three year-old niece Wren ran to the inlet’s bank. She exclaimed with delight as she waded into its shallow depths.
I hovered cautiously above her lest she tumble and need steadying. So transfixed though was she in the moment that she was almost unaware of my presence.
The river was her playmate. Blowing bubbles in the gentle current, marveling at snails clinging to limestone she plucked from the bed, laughing at leaves she sent floating downstream… her joy was radiant. It was as though she had come home to an old friend.
I was amazed to witness her introduction to the waterway: to see her respond to the call of this river more ancient and storied than we could ever know. I want her always to have the natural refuge and the health borne of clear, clean waters. And not just her.
All of our children, from every background and community, deserve a healthy connection to the place that bore us. Just as that Mississippian tributary has been our collective wellspring of life, so it is theirs, and so it will be their children’s – but only if we protect it.
Enabled by your support, we are working for our water on several fronts: from confronting those who
pollute it, preserving the wetlands that filter it, and ensuring it reaches the drinking glasses of children in low-income neighborhoods cleanly and safely.
Thank you to those of you who have committed to protecting the future’s inheritance against those who would harm it in pursuit of profit and gain. Although some in power seem loath to admit, you, dear supporter, know the Earth isn’t ours. It’s just our turn.
We are grateful to have you at our side.
Linden is Great Rivers’ Director of Developmentand Community Outreach.