MLR Welcomes Lily Carr to the team

My name is Lily. I am a college student at the University of Minnesota majoring in environmental policy with interest in community organization and sustainable urban design. I started interning for MLR this spring, working on the Lake Stewardship program. Let me tell you why I love it; I grew up in a Minneapolis neighborhood that is only a 7 minute bike ride from the beach. The path to this beach was well traveled all throughout my childhood. I went there with my family and friends, and we’d push each other off of paddle boards in the middle of the lake until our stomachs hurt from laughing. When I reminisce, moments at the lake are warm and golden in my memory. Always happy. 

Last week I was there and folks around me were playing music. I was offered a slice of cantaloupe. I saw tadpoles in the nearby pond. I go there and feel connected to my home and my community, surrounded by people who could be so different from me and yet we all end up at the same place. The MLR slogan ‘water connects us all’ definitely holds true. 

My life has been shaped by being outdoors. I didn’t realize until recently what a luxury this is. I am fortunate to have grown up in the land of 10,000 lakes and to have been surrounded by people who emphasize the inherent importance of nature. Our lakes are a very special resource that we have a responsibility to maintain. I am happy to be involved with MLR because of the emphasis placed on individual engagement.

So often when it comes to environmental issues I feel helpless, as one person, to make a change. In working on the Lake Steward project I have come to know and appreciate the importance of individual contributions to a larger cause. I have seen how change is made person by person. The grassroots nature of the program is what makes Lake Steward so valuable. It lays the groundwork for  a cultural shift, from the bottom up rather than from the top down. 

I hope to spread the Lake Stewardship program to more avid lake lovers. It is our responsibility to help keep natural beauty protected, respected, and accessible to all. This endeavor is both necessary and fulfilling, and for this reason, something I am happy to put my energy into.