From Paddling the Minnesota River to Pedaling from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River, Chen is biking to raise $5,000 for a new CURE program.
Born in China, Jianhua Qian grew up in a time when people didn’t think about the environment and thus the air and rivers in and around Shanghai were very dirty. Much of the pollution was centered around major cities where industry and dense populations had the greatest impact. Back then, the vast countryside was relatively clean and wetlands were plentiful with all kinds of fish, frogs and insects. Sadly, over the past three or more decades there has been a huge change in air and water quality for all.
Jianhua Qian left China and moved to Canada 30 years ago to advance his education. In Canada he saw a much different picture as the air and water ways were pristine. He recalls that it was his move to St. John’s Newfoundland that began his awareness of how humans impact the environment with our unconscious consumption of natural resources. Some 18 years later Chen found himself working in Montevideo, MN. Qian is known as “Chen” to his many friends.
As Chen began to reach out in the community, a co-worker brought him to a CURE event and it was through that experience he found a place that shared many of his concerns for the environment. After watching what happened in Shanghai as a young man, he knew first hand that clean rivers and wetlands can slip away if grassroots efforts do not push the government for regulations to protect our water and air.
It was in the late1990’s that Chen began coming to CURE member events, river paddles, roadside cleanups and he was always ready to roll up his sleeves and volunteer. This past June, he led a paddle on the Minnesota River for visitors from Northfield and throughout the month of May, he helped host and translate complex issues for our Professional Fellow from China, Tan Liya.
In addition to being a member for many years, Chen was honored as CURE’s “Volunteer of the Year” in 2008 and served on the board of directors from 2011 through 2014.
As summer comes into full swing, Chen is about to embark on a bicycle ride across Iowa starting at the Missouri River in the west and ending at the Mississippi River in the east – a trek of 420 miles. Chen’s journey across Iowa begins on July 23 and will take him from Glenwood to Shenandoah on July 30. He’ll be part of a ride that draws thousands of riders, and true to form, he’s using his trip to support CURE. [Support Chen, here.]
Chen is helping launch, Right in Our Backyard, A CURE program designed to get people of all ages engaged and connected to the natural world around them. You’ll be hearing more about the program soon, but you can get a head start by reading Richard Louv’s, The Nature Principle.
Please join Chen’s friends and fellow CURE members by making a contribution to Chen’s Ride Across Iowa here.