I enjoy spending time on the water. I mean, I really enjoy riding the current of the river, soaking-up all of the scenery, wildlife and serenity that tend to be found along the shoreline. The whole idea of restoration—conservation and removing debris from the river—simply helps me justify the amount of time that I try to spend on the water.
It never seems like enough time. But this year, my river miles were even fewer because of the muscle problems and surgery that stood in the way. And going forward, the odds are good that my physical work on the river will be a little less aggressive, long term. That doesn’t mean I won’t be picking up debris and continuing my geo-trashing work. It just means I probably won’t be lugging appliances, construction debris or safes up the riverbank anytime soon.
That’s why I spent a good part of September reflecting on the emails I had received about our project in recent months (see the posts below). And it’s why I’ve been thinking about ways I can make good use of this blog, beyond reporting on my personal activities. For starters, I’m going to start reporting more on the activities of others… and sharing news about river issues, restoration projects and conservation groups that are at work all over the country, and all over North America. I’m going to use the web to gather relevant stories, and I’ll post quick access to those stories here.
Now… what of the passion I have for the scenery, wildlife and serenity of the river and woods? Well, I have an idea for that, too: I’m going to do what I can to hone my writing skills and photography techniques… in an effort to capture and share some of the sights I have seen and places I have been. You see, it occurred to me that anyone who finds their way to CleanUpTheRiver.com is already rather passionate about the topic of river stewardship; any story I post here, advocating conservancy, is pretty much “preaching to the choir.”
I have realized that conservation begins with appreciation. Someone who hunts, fishes, hikes, climbs, paddles or camps does not need to be told how valuable our natural resources are; they have been there, and seen that. Thus, if I can encourage more people to visit the shoreline, walk the trail, or notice the forest… matters of conservation will come naturally to those people. Those people, and the places they visit, will be enriched.
CleanUpTheRiver.com will remain a blog focused on matters of river restoration and clean-up. But watch for a new "companion site," coming soon, which will ask people to notice and appreciate... places. And with that appreciation, perhaps natural conservation will follow.
Like water, passion finds a way to reach its destination. And one of mine is waiting just outside.
© 2009 Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.