Kay Slama and the Sierra Club have that special, rare type of the relationship – a dynamic, symbiotic type of relationship that strengthens both parties with time. Kay was interning in California when her friend introduced her to the Sierra Club on a hiking outing that was “well-run and fun,” and illuminated Kay’s interest in outdoor exploration. Later, Kay moved to South Dakota where she continued to make the organization a part of her life as a member on the political board where she protested mountain-top mining by arranging debates in local communities as well as continued participation in outings. In fact, it was on a Sierra Club cross-country ski outing to Newton Hill State Park in South Dakota that Kay met her husband, Bob Sporner, the outing leader. The two bonded over the outdoors on trips including a backpacking trip to the Black Hills and the rest is history!
Today, Kay works as a clinical psychologist in Spicer, Minnesota, located about two hours west of Minneapolis, the headquarters of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter. However, the distance between Kay and the North Star Chapter office does not limit her involvement. She currently serves as a member on the Legislative Committee and as an Outings Leader.
Kay uses phone and video to communicate with the Legislative Committee where she helps advocate for strong state protections for Minnesota’s water, air, forests and wildlife. Kay also cares deeply about rural areas and is concerned about rural pesticide use and behavioral health. Her strong environmental values stem from her belief that society is shaped by the natural world. She explains, “We can’t do anything if we don’t care about what happens to the world,” which is why Kay volunteers with the Sierra Club as well as with her church, social justice and for the Minnesota Psychological Association. Each year Kay plans a church service for Earth Day that focuses on one environmental issue such as water. Kay’s well-rounded environmental ethics have formed her strong relationship with the Sierra Club, and we are lucky to have her as a volunteer!
Profile by Olivia Cashman.
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