All across The Preserve, people are finding that caring for the land is a wonderful way to deepen their connections to this special place. Whether gathering cattle, pulling weeds, planting trees or installing owl boxes, this ‘high touch’ time spent surrounded by natural beauty nourishes us individually and as a community. Wonderfully, Preserve members and staff are sharing these experiences with us through photos, social media, notes and calls.
Looking through photos of this summer’s restoration and partnership projects, the Conservancy team is charmed and inspired by these moments. Highlights include landowners sharing stories and images of baby oaks, tiny bobcats, majestic bucks and fragile butterflies; seasonal field staff carefully moving an alligator lizard out of harm’s way or stopping to admire a skink (yep, that’s a thing!); members reaching out to touch a salamander, interrupting play to ask – “what is this scat?” or sharing an eagle or a lion sighting. Often, these are the most memorable moments of our day.
Cultivating these connections as a neighbor, resource and advocate is surely the most important role of the Conservancy. Each of these moments, fleeting as they may seem, strengthen the bonds of community and shared values that bring us together, and which will sustain the health and vitality of The Preserve in the years to come. In the fourth issue of the Conservancy’s newsletter, we hope you enjoy the stories of connection that we’ve highlighted, several of which were initiated by community members. We always welcome your stories and are eager to assist with your conservation goals, challenges and ideas.