City parks and green space have been shown to improve the physical and psychological health of local residents, reduce crime, build community stewardship, and increase the value of a given location. Luckily, I am surrounded by green spaces!
Natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Antarctic Ice Shelves are threaten by pollution, deforestation, but mostly the cascading effects of climate change. Coral bleaches when ocean temperatures rise, which destroys both animal and habitat for over 25% of marine fish.
So seek out natural wonders close to home and enjoy them! But in doing so don’t forget the connection: your connection…
My greatest disappointment is when I can show someone their first sea star (I explain how it actually extrudes its stomach to feed, secreting juices which break down its prey before it slurps it up, how it has photosensors on the tips of its 5 legs to sense light, and how it can regrow injured limbs. And I witness the awe and wonder in this person’s eyes), only to have that person walk away and toss their trash into the sea beside the seastar. Or maybe they hop on an air-polluting motor bike rather than walking the short distance down the road to their destination. This contrast is so obvious to me but sometimes people may fail to make the connection.
Look for it. Those ways you can make a difference to keep natural wonders alive. I try my best to consume items which are also environmentally friendly, but I’m not perfect. So challenge others to also seek out nature and realize their connection.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir