“On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.”
Relating to their own topic? My topic is Eirinn and how, because of her, Anonymous Husband, Bosco and I now live in Tornado Alley. My topic is how she, through good times and a few bad, has changed our life into something that is so remarkably different than what it started out as. For the better. Even though I complain about how little sleep I get, or how draining she can be, physically, mentally and emotionally, it’s always for the better. I wouldn’t trade even the worst temper tantrum or sleepless night for one day without her. The thought has never even crossed my mind.
I digress. How do I relate my topic to the environment? That is proving to be harder than it sounds. I could write about what I do: recycle, compost, turn out lights when I’m not in the room (usually…it’s a new habit I’m trying to get into), bought a fuel efficient car, live where I work, use reusable Tupperware containers instead of disposable Ziplock bags. But then in the spirit of fairness, I would also have to admit to those less-than-environmentally-stellar things that I also do: run our air conditioning when perhaps it isn’t necessary, buy bottled water, use disposable diapers, take 20 minute showers.
All this thinking took place at work and when my mind wandered from this to *surprise* work, I remembered that I am a secretary for the management advisory committee for one of our local nature areas. Hey, that’s kind of environment related. Kind of, as in TOTALLY. So I’m going to plug and advertise and fish and in the end I’m going to do some crazy voodoo spin to somehow relate it to my topic – Eirinn.
Our nature area is called the Samuel Wilmot Nature Area and I love it. It’s the most beautiful 77 hectares of land I know of. There is meadow lands, bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario, Wilmot Creek meandering through, a large marsh, and several beautifully maintained trails. The Lion’s Club has created a memorial forest in one section which, in a few years, will be a gorgeous, mature forest and at each tree is a little plaque with a dedication to those to be remembered.
If you walk through the nature area in the summer, you’re sure to find a gorgeous landscape of trees, flowers, and grasslands inhabited by songbirds, butterflies, and small mammals. Head down to the creek to see salmon jumping or watch for an osprey in it’s nest in the middle of the marsh or see the mute swans lazily swim by.
Since the advisory committee was formed, we have had a large gazebo installed near the bluffs with a viewfinder, an information kiosk was just put in at one of the entrances, many interpretive signs scattered throughout the area, two platforms on either side of the marsh, we’ve created three trails with benches along them. We also have a maintenance sub-committee to help keep the area clean, a communications sub-committee which puts together our newsletter and organizes special events, and a newly formed habitat sub-committee which will ensure the area’s various landscape types are retained. I have created a PowerPoint Presentation for the communications sub-committee to take to schools and user groups for education and to corporations and local businesses for fundraising.
Not only is the nature area a beautifully preserved and ever-improving retreat for hikers, photographers, and naturalists, it’s a wonderful place to take a walk with the kids (see the Eirinn tie-in?) or dogs (on a leash and scoop the poop, please). I’ve taken Eirinn and Bosco just once (and we all know how wonderfully that turned out), but I plan on making it a regular place to go as she gets older. While it’s important to teach our kids about recycling and composting and reusing, I think it’s also imperative that we show them why it’s so important. To give them examples of what our earth used to look like when it was clean and natural and untouched. And examples of why we should care about preserving those little spots left that are so rare and hard to find in a world full of highways and sky scrapers.