Mother Nature’s Gift
All year we enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature: forests and fields, mountains and streams, orchards and meadows, birds and butterflies, and all the plants and creatures in our natural environment. These are Mother Nature’s gifts to us.
During this holiday season, our thoughts turn to family and friends, religious celebrations, decorations, and gifts. We don’t usually think of a giving Mother Nature a gift, even though we receive many gifts from her. Perhaps it’s because Mother Nature is an imaginary person with no home or mailing address. Even Santa Claus has a home; children of all ages, with help from the U. S. Postal Service, can contact him at the North Pole.
Fortunately, both Santa and Mother Nature have many helpers in Adams County. There are volunteer organizations that help Santa by providing food, clothing, and toys for families in need so they can enjoy a happy Christmas; these organizations certainly deserve our support.
There are also several volunteer organizations that work year-round to help Mother Nature so that her gifts to us are protected now and for future generations. I am a member of, or have worked with, the following organizations, so I know they are worthy of our support.
Land Conservancy of Adams County ( P.O. Box 4584, Gettysburg, PA 17325 )
South Mountain Audubon Society ( P.O. Box 3671, Gettysburg, PA 17325)
Strawberry Hill Nature Center (1537 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield, PA 17320)
Trout Unlimited (P.O. Box 4416, Gettysburg, PA 17325 )
Watershed Alliance of Adams County ( P.O. Box 4329, Gettysburg, PA 17325 )
If you appreciate the beauty and bounty that we enjoy, and you want to give a gift to Mother Nature’s helpers, please consider a donation to one of those organizations. You might even consider making a donation on behalf of a family member or friend who “has everything” and who shares your interest in protecting our environment. I remember a bumper sticker that said, “The best things in life aren’t things,” so your donation on behalf of someone may be a much appreciated gift.
You may be wondering why an article about saving our watersheds would suggest donating to organizations other than the Watershed Alliance (WAAC). The answer is simple. Adams County relies on precipitation for virtually all its water because there are no major streams or rivers flowing into the County. Therefore, for WAAC to accomplish its mission of protecting our water resources, it must encourage good land use and environmental protection. The organizations above all contribute toward those goals.
The Land Conservancy protects farms and open space through permanent conservation easements. South Mountain Audubon Society conducts educational programs for children and adults and monitors our bird populations. (As Rachel Carson taught us in her landmark book, Silent Spring declines in bird populations can be an indicator of environmental problems.) Strawberry Hill Nature Center is a large nature preserve that conducts environmental education programs for school students and also provides outdoor recreational opportunities. The local chapter of Trout Unlimited improves stream corridors for better trout habitat – and trout fishing – which also protects water resources. The Watershed Alliance does watershed improvement projects, participates in land use and protection projects, and provides useful information about watershed issues. So your donation to any of these organizations will be much appreciated and put to good use.
When you make your donation to one of Mother Nature’s helpers, you’ll be helping to preserve nature’s gifts. Happy holidays!
Charles Skopic is the past President of the Watershed Alliance of Adams County (WAAC). WAAC’s web address is www.adamswatersheds.org.