Women have always been in the forefront of the fight to protect the outdoors and the environment in St. Louis and nationally. That was part of the message that Environmental Echo Editor Don Corrigan emphasized in a prepared statement for his induction into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Oct. 3.
“It seems fitting that in this ‘Century Year of the Suffragettes’ and strong women, that there should be mention the many good women who helped the Webster-Kirkwood Times as advocates and, indeed, as mentors and sources,” declared Corrigan, who also has served as editor-in-chief for Times Newspapers. “These women put hours of energy into protecting the outdoors and for environmental safety.”
Dwight Bitikofer and Don Corrigan of Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc., will be inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Oct. 3 to honor more than 40 years of community journalism. In his prepared remarks, Corrigan will cite the many women who have supported local journalism on the environment and the outdoors.
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Among the women that Corrigan cited are Missouri Statehouse Representatives Marion Cairns and Emmy McClelland of Webster Groves. Cairns was instrumental in the early years of the Webster-Kirkwood Times in assisting with its editorial posts against the proposed Meramec Dam that would have flooded much of the recreational river’s watershed in Eastern Missouri.
Corrigan also mentioned State Representative Deb Lavender of Kirkwood, who has been helpful in explaining how Jefferson City works – or does not work. Lavender has supported the right of cities in the St. Louis region to have their own legislation on green dining, renewable energy and restrictions on plastic bag use, over the objections of the majority party in the legislature.
Other women noted for their work are Diane Sheehan, Terri Williams, and the many women who started Citizens Against Radioactive Transport (CART). They helped St. Louis and area journalists become better informed when the trains carrying Three Mile Island Accident debris rolled through St. Louis and its suburbs.
The work of environmental activist Kay Drey also was noted as she helped with the founding of CART, and later advocated for the cleanup of radioactive sites in Weldon Spring and at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton with the JustMomsSTL group headed by Karen Nickel and Dawn Chapman.
According to Corrigan, Kay Drey inspired him to be a member – and to be at a founding meeting in Boulder, Colorado – of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). SEJ is a valuable source of information for journalists writing on outdoor and environmental issues. Meera Subramanian is the president of the organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
(For more information on the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, CLICK HERE to read Don’s column in the Webster-Kirkwood Times, which includes information on how to view the Oct. 3 event on the web.)