My name is Amelia Paine and I have been working with Upstream as an intern throughout the past few months. As an Environmental Studies student at Macalester College in St. Paul, I have learned a lot about the importance of the natural world and the best ways to steward it. Working with Upstream has allowed me to apply that knowledge and participate in some awesome projects along the way.
The natural place here in Minnesota that’s most important to me is the Mississippi River. As a St. Paul resident without a car, I have relied on finding nature within the city. I love walking from my school’s campus down to the river, listening to the sounds of the water and the trees, and exploring the paths and trails around the river. I hope to travel up to the Boundary Waters and experience more of Minnesota’s unique natural beauty in the future!
I chose to major in Environmental Studies because I’ve always loved nature and experiencing the natural world. Growing up in southwest Michigan, some of my favorite places were the shores of Lake Michigan and the forested nature preserves near my home. When I moved to the Twin Cities for college, I initially missed having nature close to home. However, over my time living here, I’ve discovered plenty of amazing natural places within the Cities, plus I’ve met a lot of people doing amazing work to steward our natural places.
One way I’ve been able to express my passion for the world around me is by joining Upstream’s team as an intern, where I’ve been lucky enough to meet community members doing great work for our natural places, work with the incredible Upstream team, and help share new ways to care for place. In the future, I hope to use my degree and the skills I’ve developed with Upstream to continue working to steward natural places. After graduating from Macalester, I’m hoping to work with federal land management in Alaska.
I believe that everyone has the power to help care for the natural world, and I’m always looking for ways to inspire others to do so. To anyone who’s reading this, I encourage you to get outside, take a walk, and discover the nature that’s right there around you. Then, figure out what you can do to help care for it, whether that’s volunteering at a local park or choosing sustainable shopping options to reduce your carbon footprint. Once you get started caring for place, your impact becomes more and more important.