New Faces, New Issues

Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir helped launch the nation’s environmental movement more than a century ago, as a way to preserve the wilderness. Now the movement is focused on issues such as unsafe drinking water, and is attracting more minorities. Great Lakes Today explores the forces – and people -- behind this transformation.

Ways to Connect

Dave Rosenthal

As the Healing Our Waters conference gets underway in Buffalo, environmental advocates from around the region have a front-row seat to issues central to the city.

But the conference is also a time to gather hundreds of environmentalists and start to inspire change -- on issues like diversity.  

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Final part of a series

I meet Kim Smith-Woodford on a rainy day at Euclid Creek Reservation east of Cleveland.  It’s a big wooded area, with a trail lining the creek and shelters for birthday parties.

The park is an urban oasis – where folks from all backgrounds go for exercise or a picnic.  And it means a lot to Smith-Woodford.  It’s where she became more interested in the outdoors.

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Part 2 of a series

You don’t have to look very far for events redefining the environmental movement – in terms of who works for advocacy groups and who they work for. Just go back to 2014.


Library of Congress

Part 1 of a series

The environmental movement started more than a century ago.  Theodore Roosevelt was known as the conservation president, and there’s a famous 1903 photo of him with the Sierra Club’s founder.

“That photo represented the environmental movement of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir and this is the two of them in Yosemite National Park,” says Aaron Mair, past president of the Sierra Club – and its first black president