Monday, December 2, 2013

Counting Blessings

Now that we have stopped counting calories we can continue to count our blessings. In this season of giving and thanks, we have a great deal for which to be grateful.

Avalonia Land Conservancy is founded on the generosity of its members. They are the bedrock. Each year that our membership grows, our foundation can get stronger. We work on outreach to connect with those who do not yet understand our mission. We strive to engage the next generation of conservationists. We post our signs so we have a visible presence in the communities where we have our preserves. We invite all, members and non-members alike, to stroll the trails, hike the woods, and enjoy what Avalonia has been able to preserve with the support of its members. Thank you.

Avalonia is further supported by the generosity of special donors: those who exceed expectations because they believe in the mission and understand the importance of the preservation of a resource that is rapidly changing and disappearing. There are no words of thanks special enough to recognize a larger gift, a grant, or a piece of treasured land, entrusted to Avalonia for care in perpetuity. It is not only our mission, but our promise, to care for each donation to the very best of our ability. Thank you.

None of that caretaking can be done without our volunteers. With the exception of one part-time paid staff person, the organization is completely dependent on its volunteers, from top to bottom. From executive officers to ground teams: volunteers direct and lead, man the keyboards, keep the books and lists, and attend conferences and meetings. Volunteers do outreach and education. Volunteers monitor the preserves, clear trails, mow fields and improve habitat. There is no way to accurately count all the hours amassed by our volunteers, and no way to truly estimate the value. Thank you.

It might be cold, and everyone is busy. It has been said before, but bears saying again: Go out and find a place of peace. If it is an Avalonia preserve, please remember all it takes to have that space and place available. Give thanks.

Written by Beth Sullivan.

Photographs by Rick Newton and Beth Sullivan.

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