Marilyn Bauchat

Executive Committee member 

I grew up in Lincoln Park, Michigan, just south of Detroit. Our family of eight lived in a house that backed up to a forest where my siblings and I led the neighbors in daily adventures. We took this small piece of paradise for granted until the day the trees were cleared and replaced by a doughnut shop. Luckily green space was abundant in Michigan in the form of parks, beaches and my grandparents’ property on Ore Lake which we explored regularly. There we enjoyed clean air and water and plentiful wildlife as we swam, rowed, dug, skated and took our first photos. Here at the lake and on many camping trips across the country, my siblings and I developed a strong sense of nature’s interconnectedness and of our impact on the delicate balance.

Later in my teaching career I exposed my students to nature at every opportunity and re-lived moments of wonder and new discoveries along with them. Upon retiring from teaching in 2014, I followed my passion for environmental stewardship and attended a workshop with Carol Johnston, who continues to inspire me along with countless Hoosier environmental heroes. I was soon appointed to Carmel’s Urban Forestry Committee, then trained to monitor streams through Sierra Club’s Heartlands Group. Amid growing concern over disruption of our ecosystems from fossil fuel emissions and increasing deregulations, I trained with Citizens’ Climate Lobby as a grassroots volunteer in 2016. Five years later, we continue to educate people about the climate crisis and how we can exert our political will.

In January 2017 I became a member of the Hoosier Chapter Executive Committee and joined the development and conservation committees, providing me the opportunity to share my passion for clean energy, air and water, while advocating to protect the natural beauty of our state.

During my term I have studied issues of equity, diversity and inclusion and am excited to be part of a new local Hoosier Chapter team formed to focus on social justice. While reflecting on the history of our organization and creating new alliances, this team will develop strategies to advocate for all while moving toward a more diverse and justice focused Sierra Club.

I enjoy speaking with people about their concerns for our environment and the importance of preserving wild areas. I’m always thrilled to help someone discover their power to make a difference, whether it’s contacting their representatives or attending a rally at the statehouse. I find a way to bring up local and state issues in most of my conversations with friends and new people I meet, almost always finding common ground in nature.

I hope everyone who reads this makes time today to appreciate the natural world right outside your window, wherever you are!

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