President’s Letter: Springing to Life
Spring has always been my favorite season. Its start officially ends the long, dark, dormant winter that so many of us tolerate in the Midwest. I don’t take any stock or truth in Punxsutawney Phil, but for some odd reason I want that little rascal to avoid any shadows. My mind wants to be done with snow by March, and my eyes start searching for that first fat robin that is brave enough to move back. I look for sprouts on the deciduous trees and thank the coniferous for providing some greenery in a sea of browns, tans, and grays that make up the winter landscape. Furthermore, each day gets progressively longer by one or two minutes and the average temperature slowly rises. When I see the first tulip or daffodil that is fighting so hard to reach the sun, I smile; our environment is springing to life.
At the PCA, we do our best to keep up with Mother Nature. Our ecology field generals will ‘hatch’ a plan for the upcoming season. This dynamic plan will be implemented mainly by our volunteer crews. Our brown and green teams will mobilize shortly with an ecology plan that will focus on removing invasive species and restoring vegetation to native forms. We also have gardeners or garden teams that strive to bring aesthetics or a little controlled ecosystem not far from the trail's edge. The board of directors is dependent on these selfless volunteers and I thank them for their involvement in PCA. I will say there is something therapeutic about digging your hands in the dirt. Old fashioned hard work is slowly being replaced in our society by machines or computers that omit this process. However, our volunteers really seem to enjoy the time and ask for nothing in return. I’m convinced this simple task of getting your hands dirty somehow fulfills and leads to contentment.
Hopefully you can get to the PCA trail soon. Since I’m a runner, I often speed down the trail, omitting the fine details of gardens, native species, and invasive plants. There is even artwork that utilizes natural materials from the local Bill Mitchell. On rare occasions I will walk at a snail’s pace and take in my immediate surroundings. The perspective can be so different. You see, I have three kids that are between the ages of 7-15 and all are involved in sports. My days can be frenetic with work, coaching soccer, shuttling kids to and from, and trying to keep our house in an upright position. This spring I encourage you to take an early slow stroll down the trail at a snail’s pace. See if you can notice the detail and beauty of the PCA that I so often overlook. Hopefully this perspective will lead to your fulfillment or contentment. Viva la spring.