This past week I got a rather large reminder of just how powerful mother nature is. Not far from where I live, an accident started a wildfire, and sadly many people lost their homes as a result...
What struck me, aside from the worry, was the strange beauty of the smoke and the fire itself. That something so powerful and destructive could be so beautiful...if only hauntingly so.
For many people, especially in the drier areas, fire is a real and ever present danger. The best we can do is to take the necessary precautions to limit its effects. I was amazed by how little I really know about wildfires and wildfire safety. By taking a little time to do some research I found out a lot. I don't live in a heavily wooded area, so I don't have to worry about dead trees and undergrowth, but small things like wetting down the area around my house, and cutting the grass short can go a long way.
Volunteering in your local forests and state parks can also be of great help. Education is the most important factor in caring for our shared lands and preserving them for our children to learn and grow in. Groups like the Student Conservation Association have been placing teens and young adults out in parks clearing trails, and educating communities about wild lands since 1957.
National Public Lands Day, coming up on September 25th, is also a great way to learn more about our public lands and volunteer. Started by the National Environmental Education Foundation, NPLD offers a chance to make a difference in the state and national parks we love so dearly.
This week a wildfire made me pay serious attention to a reality I wasn't aware of. It shouldn't take a wildfire to do that...It's time to become intimate friends with the environment I live in...September 25th is going to be a great day!
What will you do this National public lands day? Check out what's going on in your area, and let us know what you're going to do to get to know our shared spaces!
*Last time in Nature: Seed Collecting