I grew up in rural Virginia in the 1960's. After breakfast I'd say goodbye to my mom and trek into the miles of woods surrounding our house. Behind the house I'd touch my favorite trees as I walked along the well-worn path. I'd see squirrels and the occasional deer. I'd stop at the crumbling base of a chimney, deep in the woods, punctuated by saplings, and reflect on past lives lived out here. I once found an arrowhead in the clearing that contained (until then) mysterious flakes of quartz.
Across the road I'd walk with my dog for miles through dense forest to the reservoir where I'd fish with a bamboo pole. Whatever I caught would take up residence in the tiny pond I created by damming up the small creek that bisected our backyard. Once I ran into a large bull snake who reared up like a cobra and scared me so much that I spilled my bucket of fish.
At sunset I'd return home for dinner --- happy, dirty, sunburned, and tired. My mom would check for bites, scratches, poison ivy, and ticks before insisting that I take a bath. I found a newspaper clipping from those days; I'm beaming as I receive an honorable mention as a 6th grader in the Izaak Walton League Essay Contest!
My deep love for the earth came from this time, reinforced by other experiences over the years, notably the time that dolphins leapt to great vertical heights to check out our ship in Georges Banks, and the time when we were surrounded by hundreds of sea lions off the coast of Peru who were disappointed to learn that we were a research ship, and not a fishing vessel.
Today, I work for a land conservation group. We make parks, and we help communities to protect the lands they love from encroaching development. Every place we protect is special. I give to EarthShare because it is such an easy way to support all of the environmental groups who are protecting our planet for other species and for future generations of humans.
Last summer I visited the house where I grew up --- expecting the worst. The woods behind the house are still there! The path to the reservoir is protected watershed! And a small boy waved at me from his front yard. From a distance he looked happy, dirty, sunburned, and tired. We also want to know YOUR story! Be an EarthShar(er) this December and we'll send you a gift for your eligible submission. Learn more.
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We also want to know YOUR story! Be an EarthShar(er) this December and we'll send you a gift for your eligible submission. Learn more.
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
The Trust for Public Land, EarthShare member charity