“It Only Takes One Person to Get the Ball Rolling”
By Kimberly Starkey, Casper Aquifer Protection Network Groundwater Guardian Team, Wyoming
I came home one afternoon to a message on my answering machine from a person who shared not only my first name but also my maiden name. I figured my identity had been stolen. Then I noticed that I had an e-mail in my inbox from the same person associated with a professional organization. So I did a Google search of the organization to find out if there was a real person with that coincidental name. Much to my surprise, that was the case.
Unbeknownst to me, a friend had nominated me for recognition by this professional organization to which she belongs. I was absolutely shocked to find that I was being honored as the “2013 Public Citizen of the Year” by the Wyoming Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for my efforts to protect our local groundwater.
Specifically, I was recognized by NASW for my efforts in helping found the Casper Aquifer Protection (CAP) Network to: 1) better inform the public of decisions being made at the local and county level, 2) encourage citizens to get involved in policy decisions being made about their community regarding water protection, and 3) to challenge the information the City of Laramie’s City Council and Albany County Commissioners were using to create policy around water protection.
The CAP Network has been a Groundwater Guardian since 2010.
I was humbled to be singled out for recognition, but it made me think about the many, many neighbors who have become involved, educated and engaged in groundwater issues in our community. I have an immense sense of satisfaction knowing that I have helped supply my neighbors with the information they need to make wise decisions regarding groundwater protection and to advocate for public policy.
It only takes one person to get the ball rolling. All that is needed are facts, persuasion and perseverance. Who knows, you could be that person in your community!
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