To all of the new found naturalists, quarantine hikers, and isolation bird watchers.
As COVID-19 sweeps the country and you're told to stay home from your jobs, avoid groups of ten or more, and wash your hands frequently, you flock to the forests and trails. I know you are new here because these are the same paths I've walked before. I know each nook and cranny, but I do not know you. Don't get me wrong though, I am happy to share this haven with you, because I have worked to save it for you.
I'm glad you're finding respite in the great outdoors. Everything from the dirt and soil to the trees and bright sky, everything is good for the soul. It's wonderful to watch you explore with the mind of a child, wondering and wandering. Maybe you've just been gone a while, or maybe you're here for the first time. Regardless, I hope you come back. Come back tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. Come with your family or come alone. Come loudly, take pictures, send videos, and share on social media. Or come quietly, take memories, sit in silence, and spread positive energy. Come back again and again to rebalance yourself as the world around us comes to a halt.
And when this pandemic fades away, come back after that as well.
When life returns to its hurried pace, I just ask you remember where you went during the lull. Where you went when you needed a breath of fresh air, to escape confined spaces, and feel that sense of adventure. I ask that you remember us.
We are the non-profits. The land trusts and conservation groups. The boards, staffs, and volunteers who work year-round for you, our community. We do it with a smile and joy in our hearts. We strive to protect land and water for our community to enjoy and wildlife to thrive within.
Many land trusts, nature preserves, and parks are experiencing an overflow of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also experiencing a deficiency in donations, memberships, endowments, and fundraising. These non-profits work to preserve and maintain natural spaces through the generosity of their communities. Remember the next organization's sign you see on your adventures and whether you join a membership, donate, or volunteer, take a moment to give thanks to and support the non-profits who were there for you during these unique times.