Seattle At Night

Seattle At Night

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I am here

Tonight I was introduced and reminded to why I am here, in Berrien county, Harbor country, saving the Galien watershed, or, as they refer to it here, the center of the world.  July 2nd is one of our workdays, meaning volunteers go out into the field and work on one of our properties, usually one we've just acquired.  Work means pulling and cutting invasives and cleaning up garbage or waste on the property.  Tonight me and three members of the stewardship committee ventured out into Robinson Woods, a property we acquired from The Nature Conservancy in order to find the invasive species and mark them so the volunteers can more easily locate them rather than wandering around the large property looking for them. We were on the beautiful wooded property for about two hours, only a quarter of which were we finding Barberry, privet, and multi flora rose.  (the invasives)  The rest of the time, we walked the trail through this gorgeous forest with some wetland areas until we hit the ravine with the tiny little creek at the bottom of the steep 40 foot drop.  This ravine was divine to look at, great forest area with lots of trees and shrubs.  Not many birds chirping back in the property or other wildlife for that matter.  I was excited to find out that the trail was one they are going to keep and also put in a parking lot near the border of the property so others could enjoy this gorgeous, peaceful plot of land.
Seeing that gorgeous property and knowing that Chikaming Open Lands, the Nature Conservancy and the previous owners all cherished its unique, rich landscape really reminded me of why I loved protecting the environment so much.  Without this land being preserved, the young oak trees may have been logged in the future, or cut down to cramp 6 cottages on the lot.  Instead we see that this property has more than a commercial value, but rather an aesthetic and I would even go as far to say a spiritual and universal value that can not be calculated at a market price.I was proud and honored to have this land, forest, creek, river etc. as my client for work, this is something I can go home every night  proud of myself for doing.
I realized how important that is for people, after talking to a friend who was not proud of the work he was doing.  His work wasn't immoral, but it is a ridiculous concept that they do not feel satisfied enough with what they have done all day.  I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be working for something that I am passionate about, that I do enjoy doing and learning about, and feel good doing it.  I realize that I am blessed to have this job opportunity, even if it is temporary, not only because the job market is kinda not good still but also because this unique corner of the state has a lot of charm.
Tomorrow I am Kayaking down my client (the Galien River) with a board member and a few other ladies that vacation in the area.  I'm sure I will have another spiritual and rejuvenating experience to write about after that.
Please "like" Chikaming Open Lands on facebook to learn more about the great things being done in the area!

<3 Suzy

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