• NatureNOW (OWLT)

Nature Remains!

OWLT Stew News - Special Message - March 2020

by: Josh Schlicht jschlicht@owlt.org

Nature remains! 

These words have resonated with me over the past several days. The recent concern and uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic has filled news headlines and many of our lives have changed because of the need to stop the spread of the virus. The resulting feeling is surreal. Almost like something out of a movie. Grocery stores picked over, less traffic on the roads and no sports or gatherings have all contributed to this strange way of life. The pandemic has added many new stresses into our lives but one thought that I have found myself falling back on is that Nature remains.

I spent Tuesday with Ryan (OWLT Stewardship Director) walking Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, the only difference from a normal Tuesday was us keeping a mindful 6 foot distance between us.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. The sun was shining and skies were clear. We spent the day checking the number of wetlands located across the preserve assessing water levels and maintaining water control structures. We bounced from wetland to wetland investigating the unique aspects of each one, assessing possible management strategies and goals for the near future. After spending the day on this specific task, surrounded in a completely natural setting, I found myself completely lost in thought forgetting about the world’s current state of pandemic. What I really found encouraging is that despite the added stresses of life, nature remains a place for people to lose themselves. The warmth of the sun, the sound of the birds and the reflection of the trees in the water are always there. And on OWLT preserves, they will always be there.

My goal in telling you about my experience is that it may inspire you to explore a local nature preserve. As you may find yourself cooped up inside over the next days or weeks, know that OWLT preserves are out there waiting for you to experience.

With over 30 nature preserves, each one provides a new and unique feel. With each visit to a preserve, you will almost always come across something new. A natural escape is easily accessible with OWLT nature preserves.

(Image: Forest Beach Migratory Preserve 3/17/2020)

OWLT will not be holding any public workdays in the near future. This does not mean that you still cannot make an impact for our local environment during these trying times.

  • I would like to encourage anyone going out to OWLT preserves to perhaps bring a small trash bag along and assist in the cleanup of our preserves. The recent snowmelt has made any trash present very visible. Roadsides, trails and riverbanks are particularly hard hit with trash every year. If you are willing to take the trash home with you that is great, otherwise inform us and an OWLT staff member can coordinate a pickup.

  • Please share your experience as well by posting on social media (tagging OWLT), posting on our new blog/forum site (NatureNOWlt.org), or by sending us pictures of what you may have experienced to us directly. We really appreciate you sharing your experiences!

If you are looking for ways to get lost in nature, explore an OWLT preserve, and if you are up for it, volunteer some of your time accomplishing good for the environment. Feel free to reach out to OWLT staff and ask for a recommendation on a place to explore or volunteer: jschlicht@owlt.org

As you are enjoying our preserves, please adhere to all public health recommendations and avoid nature preserves if you are not feeling healthy, have a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or travel history over the last 30 days, so as to not transmit to others. Please avoid congregating in parking lots and mind social distancing at trailheads or around scenic views.

We are all in this together. OWLT nature preserves will be there for your exploration now and forever.

As always, please reach out with any questions regarding upcoming OWLT events, properties, or volunteer opportunities.


Josh Schlicht

Stewardship Coordinator

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