Submitted by: Joseph
When I think of how I related to nature, I trace my life back to childhood. I spent most of my early life living on a number of isolated acreages across Alberta and Saskatchewan, as my father uprooted us from one place to another in search of work or living space. Many of these acreages had access to winding brush forests, hilly cattle pastures or shallow, mysterious sloughs. My brothers and and I learned from an early age that having a large area of wild nature to ramble through, range about and explore, is an invaluable experience. I felt connected to the world around me as we explored and walked, watching for interesting birds or animals, picking wild flowers, or simply examining the frantic, tiny worlds of the ant hills or the grub communities of insects to be found under rocks and deadfall logs.
These wandering adventures instilled both a fascination for the natural world and a concern for the health of our environment in me that have endured to my adulthood. I feel that the environment is important to me, to all of us, for so many reasons. It connects us to nature and to each other. It is the great provider and teacher. Here in Alberta, so much of our agriculture and economic prosperity relies on a healthy natural environment, and too often I feel that we take this state of nature for granted. I believe it is necessary for our government to think carefully about how best to both use, preserve and maintain the health of our environment here in Canada.
Public parks are well and good, but there is something so much more fulfilling, at least for me, in a long walk in rough and untended nature. I would hate to see future generations deprived of the simple joys of a long walk in the wild, finding burrs clinging their socks, seeing deer cautiously graving, hearing the unrestrained chorus of frogs in the pondwaters, or watching the proud hawk soar through the sky above, seeing a landscape not yet fully dominated by human civilization and watching us below with fierce, unreadable eyes.
The environment is connected to us all, whether we think so or not, and that applies to those who come after us as well. I know I will look forward to teaching my children to enjoy time outside and hopefully help them to connect with nature like I was able to in m own childhood. It’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.