An environmental activist, Merilyn B. Reeves (b. 1931) was active in various organizations including the League of Women Voters of Maryland, Lung Association of Southern Maryland, and the Friends of Yamill County (Oregon) between the 1960s and 2011. Her work included testifying in front of Congress for the Clean Air and Safe Water Acts, working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Chesapeake Bay Program, and leading the advisory council for the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site (Washington State). Reeves was an advocate for a well-informed public and actively worked at increasing public participation in politics and environmental work. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches, certificates, publications, newspaper clippings, articles, photographs, and videotape footage.
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2.00 Linear Feet (One record storage box and one file storage box)
The Merilyn B. Reeves Papers cover the period from 1962 to 2016; the bulk of the materials date from 1971 to 2002. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches, publications, newspaper clippings, articles, photographs, and videotapes related to Reeves's work as an environmental activist included serving as a member of the League of Women Voters, the Lung Association of Southern Maryland, the Friends of Yamhill County, the Hanford Nuclear Advisory Board, and the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Merilyn B. Bronson Reeves was born in 1931 near Burley, Idaho. She attended Utah State University where she met her husband of 61 years, Henry Milton “Milt” Reeves. She worked as a teacher until the birth of her first child. Her husband’s work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service caused the family move to Texas, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Maryland. In South Dakota, Reeves took an interest in conservation issues and joined the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. She also received her Master’s in Education from Northern State Teachers College (now Northern State University) in 1961.
In 1967, the family moved to Laurel, Maryland. While living in Maryland, Reeves was very active in the environmental movement. Through the League of Women Voters of Maryland, she acted as a lobbyist in the state legislature and served on a number of different advisory capacities, including chairing Maryland’s Hazardous Substances and Low Level Nuclear Waste Council and the Pauxent River Public Advisory Committee on water quality planning. She was a member of the League of Women Voters National Board, President of the Lung Association of Southern Maryland, and a member of the American Lung Association National Board. Some of the honors that she has received include Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay by Maryland Governor Harry Hughes, USEPA Citizen’s Excellence in Community Involvement, and an achievement award by the Natural Resources Council of America.
In 1983, Milt and Merilyn retired to Amity, Oregon, where she continued her environmental work by joining the Friends of Yamhill County and the Hanford Nuclear Site Advisory Board.
The papers were arranged into four series.
The Merilyn B. Reeves Papers were processed in April 2018. All metal paper clips were removed. Photographs were separated and put into plastic sleeves. Newspaper clippings were separated using acid-free paper and if a photocopy was available, the originals were discarded. The papers were placed in acid-free folders and in acid-free boxes. Two books were removed, one cataloged in Marylandia book collection, the other cataloged in Special Collections