Earth Day 2020

Well, this is a brave new world we are in here in 2020! And as Forest Gump says, that's all I have to say about that. But for Earth Day 2020 on a serious note. I grew up loving the outdoors, and thanks to my mom, dad, and the Scouts, I learned considerable respect for the natural world that has stuck with me all of my 46 years.

The fact is growing up and now live in one of the most beautiful areas of Virginia near Staunton in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. In a mostly rural county next to George Washington and Jefferson National Forests at the southernmost entrance to Shenandoah National Park and at the famous milepost 0 of the beautiful 469 miles long Blue Ridge Parkway, the ends near the entrance to Smokie Mountain National Park. And with Virginia having one of the best State Park systems in the country nature abounds here yes in the tremendous crowded east, there is a ton of nature to be enjoyed and protected.

But here's is my caveat, so to say. A few years ago, I started a project called Wandering Augusta County in my home county. And there are many beautiful local parks City, County, and the nearby state parks and National Parks. Thing is There are some amazingly preserved and maintained private lands here, mostly farms. In the course of wandering and shooting, I have met a few farmers. I discovered something interesting in conversations with them besides making a living from the land. They are all conservationists to some degree. And like Gifford Pinchot, the first Director of the National Forest system, believe that a balance of use and conservation can best serve the land. All of the farmers I have talked with are amazing stewards of the property they are in charge of, and they do a fantastic job in finding the balance and caring for the land. They keep this county beautiful and many places all over the country safe, useful, and beautiful.

So remember it is not just all up to local, state, or federal government. It is up to all of us and remember the men women and the families that put food on our tables are as best I can tell not only are busting their collective asses but doing a fantastic job being great stewards of the lands. In the US and around the world that we all call home so when you see a farmer say thanks for taking care of us and mother earth, Hey even ask if there is anything you can do to help them keep doing it and ask maybe you have a skill that can help them out and worst case you make a new friend. You learn just what all they do.

Cheers and Happy Earth Day Kevin

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