Love was in the air at our Grove of Old Trees this past weekend as neighbors from across Sonoma County gathered as we have for 15 years, at the Grove’s annual workday. Folks from 10 to 70-something mulched trails, replanted barren areas with sword fern, improved drainage to the trail system beneath the 1,000 year-old trees, trees spared from the axe in September, 2000, and removed about 400 feet of fencing to allow for better wildlife passage. Under the direction of Friends of the Grove (or FOG) President Michael Johnston and LandPaths stewardship coordinator Erin Mullen, volunteers beat the morning chill with physical exertion, laughter and – later at a friend and neighbors’ home across the lane – chili served in front of a warm hearth. At this time of year I am profoundly grateful for the community that continually steps forward to help LandPaths care for the land.
Before ending on a note of Gratitude, I am impelled to reflect on the week’s global news - the recent horror in Paris - as it stands in relief to the true and immutable work of LandPaths. This ‘actual work’ lies just beneath the surface of our programs for all people, from urban farming, to educational outings for kids throughout the year, and nature immersion for adults on outings and Treks. That is, we at LandPaths hold that time spent together on the land helps the land, and helps humans individually and collectively heal as much, if not more, than the nature being tended or protected.
I think it important to note what we believe is the impact that LandPaths’ daily work has in addressing one of the roots of violence: marginalization of people. Through stewardship days and access to the beauty of nature, where all people are welcomed and given the chance to make a difference regardless of skin color, age or socioeconomic standing, being respected and learning about their soil, sinking their own sense of belonging – we witness great things weekly! May our nation and our world, at this difficult time of grieving also express Thanksgiving for the time spent outside tending to both nature and to the human condition.
Finally, I express my own Thanksgiving for all of those who responded to our recent $30,000 ‘Reduce our Carbon Footprint’ challenge match so generously led by Will and Julie Parish. We are now able to reduce the paper - handling and staff time associated with a larger end-of-year mailing by virtue of the gifts we received. we are most grateful for you and the work behind and what still lies ahead. Thank You.
Contents (c) 2008 by Land Partners Through Stewardship (Landpaths) Site Credits