Club petitions for environmental change

Roots and Shoots encourages youth to take a stand


Devin Raynor

Larry Kraft, executive director of iMatter, speaks to the Roots and Shoots club March 1. The club will speak to City Council March 21 about improving St. Louis Park’s environmental sustainability.

Sydney Hall

When junior Meili Liss joined Roots and Shoots, she wanted to make a change in the community. With the club’s newest project, Liss said she may be getting her wish.

Recently, members of Roots and Shoots have worked with iMatter, an organization dedicated to encouraging youth to make a change toward environmental sustainability in their community, according to Larry Kraft, executive director of iMatter.

“We empower passionate youth who are worried about climate and the environment,” Kraft said. “The campaign that we’re working on with the high school is called iMatter Now.”

Kraft said the group made strides with its petition and is ready to talk to City Council.

“The way the campaign works is that they’ll present the report card to city council and use the petition to back it up and say that this is something youth care about,” Kraft said. “The petition is meant to back up a report card that has been completed on the city, and the report card is to measure if the city is doing it’s part and what it takes to end the climate crisis.”

Kraft has worked with Roots and Shoots since November, and said he hopes to have a large impact on the youth of St. Louis Park.

“I think it could be really significant,” Kraft said. “More than any other group, youth are going to have to deal with the effects of climate change.”

According to Liss, there are steps in the process with iMatter. Liss said that the group has arrived to the petition part of their process, preceded by the report card.

“There’s certain goals to be met,” Liss said. “We have a city environmental report card that we’re trying to raise the grade from a D- to an A, and we want to spread awareness through the petition.”

According to freshman Roots and Shoots member Leila Raymond, the petition wants to show City Council the effect youth can have on environmental issues.

“This petition is to show city hall that the youth of St. Louis Park support and want positive environmental change for the future,” Raymond said. “I think that showing city hall that youth support environmental betterment will push them to create something to fix it.”

The club plans to meet with City Council at 7:30 p.m. March 21. For more information, check out the Facebook event.