What is your favorite outdoor place in Minnesota?
My favorite place in Minnesota is in the small northern town of Orr. Like many other Minnesotans, my family has a cabin up north that we go to at least once a year. The cabin is small and old-fashioned, without so much as running water, so all of my time there is usually spent outside somewhere within the sprawling 100 acres. The nature there is extremely diverse- there are grass fields that are rarely mowed, a wide array of tree species, brightly colored moss and fungi, and an army of animals (deer, moose, bears, etc.). Some of my earliest memories are of my sister and me sitting on the soft moss-covered ground of the forest, breathing in the sweet unpolluted air. It has always been my safe space.
How has your upbringing shaped your stewardship journey?
My family has been very committed to allowing the natural environment to thrive. For instance, the fact that we allow the grass to grow increases the health and biodiversity of the land. We are also watchful of invasive species and remove them so they don’t destroy the indigenous plants. There have also been instances where deer have trusted us enough to eat from our hands which is a very sweet memory of mine.
What inspires you to care for our natural places?
What inspires me to care for nature, not just in Minnesota but in general, is the fact that nature provides so much for us while we tend to destroy it in thanks. I feel that humans see themselves as an entirely separate entity from nature when we are actually just a small part of nature with a large amount of power. I believe our power should be used for good- to protect the species that cannot speak or defend themselves.
I believe our power should be used for good- to protect the species that cannot speak or defend themselves.