From Executive Director Tom Nelson
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
I see reasons for hope. I trust you see them too.
Amid all the upheaval in our world today, meaningful work and real healing can come in many ways, from great leaps of progress to the genuine gestures within the work we do each day.
The Conservancy’s work has always been and continues to be about sharing the wonders of the natural world and the fruits of our agricultural heritage with everyone who wishes to experience them. In particular, our natural areas and preserves are places where everyone can feel a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves—to “rest in the grace of the world.” A real connection with Nature may not be the answer to everything that’s happening in our world, but I believe it is most definitely a part of it. It is a ray of hope that everyone may share in.
In mid-March, like much of the nation, the Conservancy team shifted into working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m proud to say that our team’s commitment and dedication has been a testament to our mission and to our staff themselves, being the professionals they are. In a word, we have been extraordinarily productive and have not missed a beat in protecting this cherished peninsula.
As you’ll read within these pages, we are on track to protect more than 1,000 acres of natural lands and productive family farms this year, including six projects that we’ve completed in the first six months of 2020. We expect to open two brand new natural areas soon—the Stites Natural Area in Suttons Bay Township and the Cedar River Preserve addition in Solon Township—with a brand new Lime Lake Preserve in the offering as well. And, we’re overjoyed that our 27 existing natural areas are places of peace, serenity and quiet enjoyment for more people than ever this year. We have received notes of thanks from so many of you for our 28 natural areas and preserves. Thank you—because you have made it all possible.
Together, we continue to work and to offer places of beauty, peace and hope for all. We are grateful to you for all you do to help us continue our quiet work and to be part of the answer the world yearns for.–Executive Director Tom Nelson’s column appeared in our Summer 2020 Newsletter.