Only two years ago, the border town of Laredo, Texas, was bracing itself for the construction of a towering steel and concrete border wall that threatened to cut off the city, its people, and the environment from its main water source - the Rio Grande River.
Diligent grassroots efforts by No Border Wall Coalition - a coalition composed of veterans, clergy, teachers, students, Indigenous leaders, and landowners - paved the way for the cancellation of unconstructed border wall contracts.
According to environmental nonprofit Earthjustice, this saved 71 miles of sensitive riverfront land and more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds. This victory allowed the City of Laredo to propose and unanimously green-light plans for a binational river park - which is set to be developed where the border wall was once proposed to stand.
Ambassadors to the U.S. and Mexico, along with city officials from Laredo, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas - affectionately called the “Sister Cities” - are working together to transform their shared river into an ecological restoration project.
This historic binational project will span approximately 6.3 miles and focus on strengthening the conservation of the Rio Grande River while creating a community recreation and education space that stands to represent the unique and interconnected relationship between these two border cities.
Today's OGN Sunday Magazine articles