My Little Crusade

I’ve started to realize why I keep writing about the South Mountain Reservation. It certainly isn’t for the money (see my last post!), though I’m grateful to be paid at all (thank you, Mary!).

Still, each story I post on our local Maplewood Patch is my chance to make a difference in my tiny corner of the world. The state of our environment and how we care for or abuse it is something that’s concerned me since I took my first rather mincing steps into the woods when my husband and I began dating years ago.

Before that, believe it or not, I was rather disinclined even to get dirty!

Trail Working in the South Mountain Reservation
Trail Working in the South Mountain Reservation

More and more I sense that we are slowly killing ourselves through arrogance and neglect. I’ve been following Nicholas Kristof‘s far more influential crusade against chemicals in our environment, not to mention his extraordinary reporting of the state of women and children in Africa, Cambodia and elsewhere in the “third world”. While his words coalesce for me as a call to action, the scale of the issues seems far too vast and removed from everyday life. What can I do besides donate a few dollars and monitor my own household’s habits?

While my writing may not have Kristof’s reach, I happen to know my audience – personally. If my little crusade spurs a couple of friends and neighbors to take action and responsibility for the environment in which we live, then I’ve achieved my goal.

If I can encourage our local schools to get our children out into the woods to learn about civic duty, ecosystems, biology, botany, and maybe even a dash of history (all virtually for free, mind you), then I’ve achieved my goal.

If all I manage to do is get my own butt up the hill and do something more than shake my head in pity at all the trees that have fallen in the latest storm, then I’ve achieved my goal.

So, perhaps off-topic from my usual musings about the writer’s life (or perhaps not, since it’s all about the power of words), I invite you to read my latest on Maplewood Patch, Trail Working in The South Mountain Reservation.

If you live here or if you don’t, I hope my story will serve its purpose and bring at least one more pair of boots and a sturdy back into our forest or a forest near you. Or maybe just remind you that recycling may be a pain, but it’s worth the trouble.


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