Are you thinking of staying in St. Louis this summer? Are you searching for ways to get involved in the local sustainability scene? Do you need to practice social interaction after a year of pandemic-induced isolation? Look no further! St. Louis has tons of wonderful organizations working to center equity and sustainability in their activism, and many need volunteers to help their mission along.
Urban Harvest STL is on a mission to upend food inequity through a network of urban farms in the heart of St. Louis. By donating the majority of their produce and teaching aspiring growers to nourish their own gardens, they aim to disrupt the current food system that denies low-income communities of color – and particularly Black and brown communities – equitable access to healthy food, a phenomenon known as food apartheid.
Inspired yet? Urban Harvest is still looking for interns and volunteers to learn the foundations of farming, help maintain the farm sites, and craft resources related to farming, food access, and more. Visit their website to learn more about their internship opportunities or volunteer days!
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit environmental law firm which aims to protect Missouri and Illinois land and its residents from environmental injustices and misuse. They may be a small firm, but they tackle issues that range from holding Ameren accountable for proper coal ash disposal, to pushing back against attempts to harvest portions of the Shawnee national forest.
If this interests you, this summer Great Rivers is looking for volunteers to help with website improvements, graphic design work, and new members for its Young Professionals Board.
EarthDance Organic Farm School is the oldest organic farm west of the Mississippi, and works to unite Ferguson around growing quality food and empowering residents to become growers. EarthDance wants to reimagine the food economy from its origins to its end, by taking good care of their soil, donating food to local organizations, and building a pay-as-you-can farm stand.
Volunteering at EarthDance is a great way to dive deeper into organic farming and community-centered growing. To volunteer, you must be at least fourteen years old, attend an orientation (held every fourth Saturday of the month, from 8 to 9 AM), and commit to one shift a week through the end of September. Volunteers also get a weekly share of the harvest!
Keep in mind, these are just a few of the great organizations in the St. Louis area doing critical work to make our city and the surrounding communities more sustainable. There are also many other ways you can support activist work in St. Louis, like by buying from Black growers, donating to mutual aid funds, and providing additional support to other activist organizations working in related fields.
More organizations to check out:
Black History Month 2020: Supporting Black Food – Green Dining Alliance
Advocacy/Justice Groups in St. Louis – Manchester United Methodist Church