On a recent morning, I found myself with fifteen Conservancy staff and volunteers spread through an old hay field at Safe Harbor Nature Preserve. We were there to plant over a thousand bare root poplar, hickory, cedars, spicebush, and serviceberry seedlings. Alternating, we created a gap in the soil, knelt onto the ground, and gently guided the roots into the earth.
The roots of these bare root seedlings are delicate and spread like fine hairs. Recent research shows that these trees will one day communicate with each other through a fungal network wrapped around their roots. They will use these roots to share water and nutrients and even shepherd resources when a neighbor is struggling. It is hard to know where one individual tree ends, and the rest begin.
In the same way, it is hard to determine exactly where you and I stop, and nature begins. To be human is to be a part of nature. We are made of the same elemental building blocks as the rest of life on earth – carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, calcium, sodium, oxygen – all originated in the first stars, 13.9 billion years ago. The oxygen you just inhaled was very likely just exhaled from a nearby tree, shrub, grass, or flower. By saving nature, we are in essence saving ourselves.
When you support the Conservancy’s work to protect and restore natural lands, you protect more than the wildlife that needs that open space and habitat, you protect our human community and restore our connection with nature.
When you help the Conservancy save open space, you are preserving 10,000 years of collective history, history that is etched in the land since the last glaciers retreated and contained in each ecological relationship – a web we are all a part of and are just barely starting to understand.
Here in this old hay field, fifteen people were making the choice to act for us and for nature – one tree at a time. And now we are asking you to make that same choice. Act for all of us and for nature by making your annual gift to the Conservancy today.
Thank you for making the choice to honor your own place in the natural world.
Community Engagement Coordinator
P.S. Give a gift of $50 or more between Earth Day and Arbor Day (April 22 – 29) and the Conservancy will send you a small package of native coneflower seeds to help restore wildlife habitat at your own home.
Header Photo: Jenn Teson of Ferncliff Wildlife and Wildflower Preserve