Why do you like volunteering for the Campaign?
It has always been so fun and easy to talk about the Boundary Waters! Like so many others I shape my summers around this place, so it only feels right to share the awesomeness of the BWCA with others, and how we can protect it! I first presented to my high school, Benilde St. Margaret's in 2014 after signing Dave and Amy's signature Canoe in Duluth, at the first days of their Paddle to D.C. trek. Since then the campaign has grown so much, and I feel lucky to have been apart of it all.
What is your favorite event you’ve ever volunteered at?
The MN state fair 2018 was a blast! Getting to talk to the sheer numbers of Boundary Waters supporters that came through our booth was an absolute joy.
What is your favorite lake?
Clearwater lake! Hiking up the Palisades is the best!
Favorite memory in the Boundary Waters?
My boyfriend and I camped on Caribou Lake a few years ago and took a trip to Johnson Falls. We had the most spectacular picnic under the waterfall, a moment I truly will never forget.
What would you never go to the Boundary Waters without?
My coffee press - can't go without my coffee!
Why do you want to protect the Boundary Waters?
The Boundary Waters has been exhaustively protected to maintain it's current status as a roadless wilderness and federally protected wilderness area. There is precious little undeveloped land left on our earth, and the BWCA looks nearly identical to how it did hundreds of years ago. However, threats to its purity are mounting. I feel a sense of urgency to elevate this issue before time runs out.
I feel deeply connected to this place as so many others do; I was lucky enough to spend a week in Ely each summer with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, paddling in for day trips just outside Ely, and just soaking up all the Ely community had to offer. These childhood carefree memories will stick with me forever. When I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I try to remember those strolls down to Miners Lake and Shagwa lake, waiting for my uncle to get off work at Piragis so we could all walk the dogs together and lay in the hammock. I am intricately connected to the strength of these communities and when I am speaking for the Boundary Waters, I also speak for the 17,000 local jobs supported by the tourism and outdoor recreation economy of Ely, Grand Marais, and the surrounding area.
I was introduced to the richness of these end-of-the-road communities, and it is clear these communities form around something greater than all of us. It wasn't until high school that I began taking more extensive camping trips into the BWCA, and was able to fully understand the vastness of this place, but my deep love and appreciation for those economies that thrive off the outdoor recreation economy grounds me in my work to, As Edward Abbey once said, "Keep it as it was".
You are working to build up a campus organization for the Boundary Waters at DePaul University. Why is it so important to you to get students involved in the Campaign?
DePaul is a Vincentian University, modeled after the life and work of Saint Vincent DePaul. His motto, and consequently the University's, was "What Must Be Done". My four years on this campus have taught me how to pursue social justice through action, and leaders of the campaign to Save the BWCA have as well. Using the tools I've been given through my coursework and fieldwork experience, I now feel called to share with others what must be done for the Boundary Waters. We cannot afford to risk this indescribable place. I am inspired by the Kids for the Boundary Waters group flying into DC, so I am currently planning agendas for three events on campus this week to support their efforts. This week we'll be signing the petition, writing letters to our elected officials, and forming our next Chicago meet up.