Sunday, April 25, 2010
Day 115- National Parks
Dear Mr. President,
In observance of National Park Week some friends and I went to Mt. Rainier to take advantage of the free access to the kind of wilderness we miss, living in a city. We (mostly) avoided making fools of ourselves, saw some amazing scenery, a few deer, and made a snowman. The scenic drive out to the mountain reminded me of the wilderness my sisters and I used to play in outside our childhood home, which sat on land behind a wooded area that was home to deer, bunnies, coyote, and a number of wild flowers and a small creek. Many happy afternoons were spent venturing out into the forest, exploring, trying to capture frogs and insects, and exasperating our mother and grandmother with the amount of mud we'd manage to bring home. Those woods have been developed into housing developments, planned communities full of houses with tiny backyards, neatly manicured lawns and oddly similar floor plans.
The connection to nature that I took for granted as a child is lost to me now. One morning this week, while walking to work, I startled a raccoon digging through the neighbor's trash, and that was the closest to wildlife I've been since visiting British Columbia last fall. I'm committed to the environmental movement, but I think, living this far away from the natural beauty we fight to defend, I often lose sight of the urgency this fight requires. Recently a grey whale died on a nearby beach, and an analysis of its stomach contents revealed an upsetting amount of garbage. Saving the whales might be a humorous cliche of overzealous environmentalists, but it's just sad to realize how much our wasteful lifestyles affect the creatures who have to share a increasingly smaller wilderness with humans. I hope that this year your administration continues to regulate polluters, promote responsible energy usage, sustainable energy sources, and works to strengthen the Endangered Species Act to ensure that the destructive impact humanity has on the natural world can be minimized.
Anyway, happy hiking!