When was the last time you drove over a bridge and appreciated a pretty stream below? Or walked down a trail through quiet woods? Or stopped to watch a fox trotting through a meadow? If you have done any of these things recently, there is a good chance that you can thank your local conservation group.
So much of our land is now fragmented and under pressure from development that protecting land locally is critical. Sure, we should be concerned about tropical rain forests, but we should also be concerned about local streams. We should do what we can to protect polar ice caps while we are still protecting farmland and forests nearby.
The good news is that it is easy to get involved in ways that are fun and rewarding.
Volunteer With Your Local Conservation Group
Both Brandywine Conservancy and Jenkins Arboretum host events that need voluneers and stewardship opportunites to suit your interests. Or clean up a stream with the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association and connect with neighbors while improving our drinking water.
For the truly dedicated, you can become a Force of Nature with Natural Lands. Planting trees and clearing trails are only some of the skills you will learn during the in-depth volunteer training. And make sure to take advantage of the many trails and preserves as you get involved.
Join or Donate
If you are one of the many people today who can’t find time to volunteer, consider membership or donating to these conservation organizations. Stay abreast of educational and social events that may fit into your busy schedule while supporting the conservation group financially.
Membership usually includes free or discounted admission, events, and sometimes special invitations. And most local groups host an annual gala, dinner, or auction for members.
Of course there are other ways to give. Memorial tributes, annual campaigns, and planned giving support your local conservation group and are always appreciated.
Learn About Nature
Most environmental organizations also have a large educational component. Hands-on classes and guided walks get you outside in nature. Or take an online class. Learn something at one of the many lectures or programs offered and apply what you learn to your own property!
Benefits of Land Conservation
In addition to benefiting the environment, supporting your local land conservancy is good for the local economy. Protecting open space keeps property values up while increasing recreational opportunities. And green areas tend to be lower in crime while children with access to open space do better at school. In short, protecting our local environment is a really good investment.
So if you want to get involved, exercise, meet great people, learn something new, or if you just want to do something you feel good about, I’ve got a great idea for you… Support your local conservation group!