Dear Mother Earth,
What a year it has been! Last April as the coronavirus pandemic ramped up, we isolated from each other and, at first, from you. We struggled with adapting to new ways to work, to attend school, to have dinner, and find happiness. Days were filled with uncertainty, stress, and sadness, and many of us did not venture far from our own backyards. In those early pandemic days, you didn’t see much of us. So, you may have felt a bit lonely too. But we knew you would be there when we needed it most.
Last summer you opened your arms wide. You gifted us with awe-inspiring vistas and wide open spaces. From your lakes and rivers to your forests, canyons and mountains, we found solace and sanity in getting outdoors. With large events cancelled, we had more time to explore the wonders of your creation. We returned to favorite places and sought out new ones. Many of us discovered your trails for the first time. You were there for us when we needed a place to restore our sense of balance, reduce our stress and connect to others safely in small groups.
We know that this took a toll on you, although you did not complain. I am hoping my friends and neighbors will join me in caring for you in the coming months. You deserve some special treatment for all you have done in the last year – in the last millennia. If we all do our part, I know we can continue to count on you in the years ahead.
Last year, most earth day events were cancelled. It’s not that we didn’t care about celebrating your birthday, we just couldn’t gather together. This year, we look forward to holding smaller gatherings and keeping the celebration going all summer with stewardship projects!
One of your devoted stewards,
Here are some ways we can all help out Mother Earth to make sure she stays in good shape.
Participate in an Earth Day event, whether it’s online or outside. Take a personal action that makes a difference. If we all do something, no matter what it is, it will make a difference.
A good practice for us all is to learn more about the Leave No Trace principles:
Consider volunteering for a trail project to restore your favorite trail. Here in our neck of the woods, we have many local trails organizations to choose from. Montana Wilderness Association, the Cube Iron Cataract Coalition, several Backcountry Horsemen of America Chapters, 9B Trails, Pend Oreille Pedalers, Idaho Trails Association and the Washington Trails Association to name a few.
And close to my heart is the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. You can lead a hike, help maintain trails or educate others about wildlife as a Trail Ambassador. Learn more at www.ScotchmanPeaks.org