The job of protecting the places we love is never done

The job of protecting the places we love is never done

Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve

Flower Creek Dunes Nature preserve along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Muskegon County.

One of Emily Dickinson’s poems begins: “I dreaded that first robin so…”

That first robin cannot come soon enough for me. I love the four seasons, including winter, and love being outdoors in winter, but I have had enough.

In idle moments, my mind is pulled to a warm Lake Michigan beach, summer sailing, or planning a backpacking trip. The spring woods and (unfrozen) water beckon.

At the Land Conservancy we have summer plans that include hikes through the woods or at Lake Michigan’s shore, a bike ride along a path that will take riders to some of our protected properties. We are planning a canoe and kayak trip down the Pere Marquette River, again to see some of the properties we have protected that make the PM a nationally recognized scenic river.

Skiing, snowshoeing, walking, hiking, backpacking, and bike riding along its roads and trails, and sailing and kayaking its waters makes Michigan the place I want to live.

But a Great Lakes Echo article about a recently released survey said:

“Although natural resources are Michigan residents’ favorite part about living in the state, residents are willing to cut their preservation to alleviate state spending, according to a recent survey.”

It is the wild and semi-wild spaces and places of Michigan that makes this the place I put down roots. On reading the survey one of my colleagues suggested:

“It seems as though the ‘Pure Michigan’ campaign may have worked wonders convincing people that we have great natural resources (a good thing)… but unfortunately, maybe it also made the case too well that the job of protecting those places is done.”

The job of protecting the places we love is never done.

At this time of year, still surrounded by freezing temperatures and frozen water, when your mind is pulled to the activities of spring and summer, what special place are you thinking about? And what would you be willing to do to preserve it?

Vaughn Maatman
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  • Cindy
    Reply

    I have already started to hear song birds in the early morning. Spring is on it’s way. I am looking forward to joining you for hiking, biking and kayaking once our wild places thaw! Thanks Vaughn.

    March 5, 2015 at 11:12 am

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