The Conservancy is focused on accelerating our efforts to protect natural lands and open them to the public. Time is running short for this work, with land continually lost to development and a swiftly evolving world due to climate change. Friends ask me, why should we care about this when there are so many other important issues of the day?
I offer here four HUGE reasons and calls to action:
Trees sequester carbon. Our nature preserves act as carbon sinks, helping to offset the effects of an overload of CO2 in the atmosphere. Only 16% of Lancaster County remains as forested land, mirroring a huge problem all across developed communities. We must act locally to protect our woods from destruction. While we can’t personally stop the deforestation in Brazil or the bush fires in Australia, we can act to save and plant trees right here and have an impact on this global issue.
Our birds are disappearing, our insects are in collapse, and our natural world is under assault. We must set aside land for nature. The thousands of acres we lose every year to development contribute to the loss of thousands of birds, insects, and animals. If you get a special joy from helping the fauna under our care, we must act now to save our common home.
More and more studies are showing the benefits of Nature Rx – spending time in nature to help improve both our physical and mental health. Our children also benefit greatly from spending time in the outdoors, engaging in unstructured play. Forested lands provide hiking recreation, hunting, fishing, and opportunities for escaping our built out environment. Preserving our forests preserves our health.
Natural, forested land cleans our waterways. The tangled network of roots in a forest act as large scrubbers, filtering pollutants out of our water, and keeping topsoil in place to reduce runoff and sediment. Every time development happens along a stream in Lancaster County, trees are removed and our water is impaired. While we can spend a lot of time planting trees along rivers, we must protect those that are already there – our sources of fresh, clean water depend on it.
And now I ask you:
Which of these resonate most? Which would motivate you to join our movement here in Lancaster?
Phil Wenger, President
Michelle Johnsen Photography