Conservation Fellows Complete Mural Showing Impacts of Sulfide Mining

The Friends’ Conservation Fellows have completed a mural about the impacts of sulfide mining on water and wildlife. The mural was recently exhibited at Saint Paul Academy, where Fellow Eva Garcia attends school. Over the next few months, the mural is to be displayed at three others schools: Cretin Derham Hall (St. Paul), Southwest High School (Minneapolis) and Washburn High School (Minneapolis).


Conservation Fellow Eva Garcia stands next to the Fellow’s mural displayed at St. Paul Academy

The Friends launched its Conservation Fellows Partnership program in the fall with the first cohort of high school students. The program is a 10-month partnership between the Friends and high school students of color, providing an advocacy mentorship experience and opportunities to share diverse cultural perspectives about the environment. The four fellows, Sofia Lent, Melissa Garcia, Nicholas Nicome and Eva Garcia, spent fall learning about the work of the Friends and key issues facing Minnesota. They met with research scientists, Minnesota legislators, nature photographers and others working to protect Minnesota’s environment.

In January, the Fellows joined Friends staff and about 40 Friends members for a winter weekend at YMCA Camp Menogyn at the edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. Over a long winter weekend, the Fellows hiked and skied and took a plunge in the frozen lake. They also got the chance to hear a presentation on moose population decline and research from Grand Portage Band biologist Seth Moore.

This spring the students will be completing independent projects that include a musical piece interpreting the sights and sounds of the BWCAW, a presentation on the impacts of air pollution, and video interviews exploring racially and culturally diverse experiences in nature.

The Friends is recruiting for next year’s cohort of Conservation Fellows. For more information, contact Betsy Daub, Science and Conservation Director.

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