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HomeHikingOur Land - Unusual Path – An REI Co-op Publication

Our Land – Unusual Path – An REI Co-op Publication

For many years, Black environmentalists and residents of Eagle Harbor, Maryland, have been preventing to guard the city from land, air and water air pollution.  

The waterfront neighborhood fashioned within the late Nineteen Twenties as a haven for Black Individuals to flee a bustling Washington, D.C., and summer season warmth. At a time of segregated seashores, Eagle Harbor on the Patuxent River turned a preferred Black oasis for swimming, boating, fishing and different types of recreation.   

Over time, nevertheless, shoreline erosion, water contamination and different environmental circumstances—some allegedly stemming from a close-by power-generating plant—have threatened the city’s livelihood in addition to the townspeople’s high quality of outside life. 

In Our Land, a brief documentary produced by REI Co-op Studios, filmmaker Emmanuel Afolabi introduces the people who find themselves preventing to maintain the story and neighborhood of Eagle Harbor alive. Black environmentalists and townspeople, together with the Patuxent Riverkeeper alliance, a neighborhood advocacy and restoration group, have been monitoring air pollution and looking for regulatory reforms to scrub up the water and land so folks can drink from their faucets, swim and fish within the river and rather more.   

It is a acquainted battle for Black communities and different communities of colour in the USA. Black communities have traditionally skilled the best ranges of nature deprivation in 26 states, and Latino and Hispanic communities in 8 states, in line with a report by the nonpartisan coverage institute the Heart for American Progress. Power technology and extraction are among the main causes of that lack, the Heart says. Clearing the land to construct services and infrastructure can remove vital inexperienced area, and the elevated threat of spills, improper waste disposal and water and air air pollution threaten native residents’ capacity to soundly benefit from the outdoor.  

Assist the TREES Act, Defend Our Land 

At REI Co-op, we imagine everybody has the fitting to benefit from the energy of the outside and time in nature. Eliminating the disparities to having fun with nature is a big a part of that imaginative and prescient. That’s why we invite you to hitch the REI Cooperative Motion Community in supporting the bipartisan TREES Act, launched to Congress final yr. This invoice would create a cost-share grant program to plant at the very least 300,000 timber yearly and try to deal with environmental, financial and social inequalities in communities throughout the U.S. Importantly, this invoice is devoted to reducing residential vitality prices and, in the end, decreasing our reliance on extractive vitality sources, like these abutting Eagle Harbor. 

Neighborhoods with no or low tree canopies can have decrease dwelling values, elevated air pollution and fewer out there greenspace for recreation. Planting timber does greater than make a neighborhood lovely: Tree canopies can present shade to assist decrease vitality prices and cool avenue temperatures, act as a protecting windbreak and enhance air high quality.  

The TREES Act would create a cost-share grant program on the Division of Power to plant a minimal of 300,000 timber yearly by 2026, prioritizing low-wealth communities, neighborhoods with giant populations of senior residents and/or youngsters, areas with low tree cover and warmth islands in city areas.  

Eagle Harbor—and communities prefer it—have a deep connection to each the land and one another. The residents have fought lengthy and arduous to have the help, safety and entry to secure outside areas which have contributed to their city’s wealthy historical past. Initiatives just like the TREES Act can present tangible enhancements to outside entry, better fairness and the advantages that nature can provide.  

“The connection Black folks need to the American land is sacred,” Afolabi says. “Accessing nature, experiencing and being current throughout the pure surroundings is greater than a proper. It’s a basic inheritance for Black folks.” 

Positive Recharge
Positive Recharge
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