By Beth Sullivan
We welcomed the New Year. We all knew there were changes and challenges ahead. We have begun a new era.
This blog may be my voice, but it represents Avalonia Land Conservancy and many varied voices, so it is not appropriate for it to be a platform for my thoughts about women’s rights, all human rights; the value of life, all lives; the need for affordable and accessible health care; the right to be whoever you want to be and be with whomever you choose in your life. Because it all boils down to happiness and security, respect for one another and peaceful co-existence in our world. For many of us being out in Nature, in all her beautiful variable forms, is what brings us to peace and happiness. It can be a common ground for so many, despite differences in views.
|Children understand the need to turn to nature...|
Therefore it is supremely important that we all agree at least, that protection of our environment is something we must support together.
A changing climate
There are always going to be differences of opinions as to cause, but there should be no dissent in the understanding that our climate is changing, and with it comes perilous consequences.
|...to experience joy...|
If you live near the coast, you are more aware of the sea levels rising, changes in storm intensity and losses of our valuable salt marshes. These changes threaten more than the high-end real estate along the coast, but the protection afforded to all, by the open spaces, undeveloped land, marshes, and dunes. They must be preserved.
|...to experience simple love...|
Living inland more, you may notice the changes in our weather patterns in how it affects our gardening season. We are in the middle of a January thaw that has been quite long already. Winter seems to have started late, was pretty intense for short periods as we were blasted by extreme arctic air. If it continues like it did last year, the cold and erratic weather may push itself farther into spring, blasting flower buds confusing plants and insects and birds and crops. If it affects us in a small way in our home gardens, image how it affects the larger scale farms and orchards.
|...and to learn to work together.|
We have had drought and higher heat for several summers. We have watched lawns and gardens and small ponds and large lakes dry up. It leads to many of us using water to irrigate to save our cherished plants or vegetable gardens we tend so hopefully. Yet that draws on dwindling water resources and the combined effect is draining our reservoirs each year.
|We must pass on our values.|
At times I find it hard to think much beyond our local area. How do we influence the greater policies, how do we voice our concerns or make those voices heard?
|We must teach respect, cooperation, and tolerance.|
Connecticut Land Conservation Council
We can personally engage in practices that preserve resources. We can work to preserve or manage the landscapes in our own areas one step at a time. We can support organizations like Avalonia or the Nature Conservancy and many others, that pool resources to work for a greater good. Supporting organizations like the Connecticut Land Conservation Council is one of the best ways. The organization is staffed with brilliant, dedicated people who know the issues, who know how to use their voices, and our voices, and know how to direct them to those who make the rules, set the policies to make a difference. We can join our voices to theirs as they advise us how to reach those in power.
|We need to act to preserve that which brings us peace.|
We need to be kind. Kind to each other, kind to the Earth. We have a moral obligation to protect and preserve and steward our land and the environment as a whole, for the health of the whole planet and the future generations. It sounds trite. But it is true. If we think and act with kindness and consideration in all things….maybe it will trickle up.
|And, by uniting our voices, they will be heard.|
Photographs by multiple contributors.