Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kathleen Heideman -- activist, artist, poet -- honored as Freshwater Hero

Kathleen Heideman of Marquette, Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) board member, active in UPEC's Mining Action Group, has been named a Freshwater Hero by Freshwater Future. (Photo © Christine Saari and courtesy UPEC)

MARQUETTE -- Last week, environmental group Freshwater Future announced the winners of their annual Freshwater Hero awards, which they "bestow upon unique and pioneering water protectors in the region."

Among the recipients of this year’s award is Kathleen M. Heideman of Marquette -- writer, artist, and environmentalist -- who’s been defending clean water and wild places from the dangers of sulfide mining for years. Heideman serves on the board of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) and works with the UPEC Mining Action Group, previously known as Save the Wild U.P.

Freshwater Future has supported Heideman and her colleagues for their work related to the Aquila Back Forty project and the Eagle Mine and for their efforts to educate the public about the hazards of sulfide mining.

Freshwater Future also recognizes Heideman's artistic talents: "Kathleen’s stewardship and sense of place is evident in her paintings and her poetry, and she incorporates her experiences with water into media that are accessible to a much broader population."*

Freshwater Future recognizes the power of citizen activism, noting that "in every community around the Great Lakes, you’ll find thoughtful, committed residents taking action to protect our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, shorelines, and drinking water. Small, individual actions can make a big difference, and at Freshwater Future we’re inspired by those who devote their time to making things better. It’s this collective involvement that helps keep our waters safe, clean, and accessible to all."

Freshwater Future is a watershed-wide organization dedicated to supporting the needs of community-based groups such as UPEC and the Mining Action Group, who work to protect Great Lakes land and water resources.**

Each year, Freshwater Future awards recognize "a handful of the good people doing good things to protect the water in our Great Lakes region. From social justice activists in Detroit, Michigan, to tribal leaders on the remote shores of Lake Superior, every one of these Freshwater Heroes is not only working to safeguard their water, but also caring for the people in their communities and serving as an inspiration to us all."

UPEC President Horst Schmidt notes Heideman's hard work in environmental protection.

"I applaud Kathleen’s diligent efforts, working along with other talented individuals in the Mining Action Group," Schmidt said. "She urges us to work collaboratively and stay vigilant. She understands that what we have up here are not merely natural resources, but waters that are the wild and sustaining essence of our lives."

Heideman among Marquette poets to launch new book at Portage Library April 17

In addition to her activism, Heideman finds time for art, photography and poetry. She is a member of the Marquette Poets Circle, who will celebrate the launch of their anthology Maiden Voyage with readings from the book from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Tuesday, April 17, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. Along with Kathleen Heideman, poets Beverly Matherne, Jesse Koenig, Janeen Rastall, John Taylor, and Richard Rastall will read from their poems, offering a great variety of themes and images.


* Click here to read more about Kathleen Heideman and her work.

** Click here to read more about Freshwater Future's Freshwater Heroes.

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