PLENTY SUMMER 2020 | Page 41

reestablish and restore an ecology of shared identity.” I would dare to say that we have all longed at some point in our modern, busy lives for a simpler, slower time. We all long to be a part of community, not separate. Wildlife and wild lands are part of our communities. Our wild brethren exist not for our benefit but as connection to the greater universe beyond our doors. Perhaps taking time to just be amid the ongoing cycle of growth, death, decay in Nature could help us to feel less alone and more empowered to care for the wild things that share the planet with us. A natural journey is a great way to capture your daily discoveries happening in your yard or on walks. Look up “How to Make a Unique Nature Journal” on the National Wildlife Federation blog for some great tips. habit and to will be monitoring my step-o-meter on my phone to make sure I’ll keeping up the same mileage. Take some time now to plan ways to keep up your walking and hiking habit! We Can Be the Change According to the journal Nature Climate Change, global carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by an unprecedented 17 percent during the COVID-19 quarantine. And while this doesn’t solve climate change immediately, it is a step forward on a path that many people said would never be possible. To save the planet, the animals and ourselves from the effects of climate change more difficult, uncomfortable decisions to be made. We’ve already proven we can do it. The lack of vehicle and airplane traffic are allowing people to notice nature more than ever. We are seeing a surge of visitors at our parks and trails in Montgomery county during the pandemic. At Black Hill Regional Park, the gardens are in bloom and the meadow is full of birdsong. At this writing, we are still unsure of when the Visitors Center will be allowed to open or when and how programming will resume. There are many unanswered questions and concerns for my family and staff. All I can do is take it one day at a time, go for a walk, and weed my garden. Jennifer Scully is the Facility and & Program Manager of Black Hill Visitor Center and Nature Programs in Boyds, Maryland. Prior to working at Black Hill, she was a Park Ranger with the Maryland Parks Service. Jennifer has her undergraduate degree from Frostburg State in Biological Illustration. She lives with her family on a small farm in Frederick County, where they raise Texas Longhorns and Lionhead rabbits. Going for a Walk When the season of teleworking ends for me, I will most miss my afternoon walks. I have too often not made time for daily reflection, but the quarantine has made me realize how essential this time is for stress release and creativity. Walking isn’t only great exercise but also an opportunity to talk with our friends and loved ones without distraction. I’m making a mental pledge now to continue my walking McKenzie Elizabeth Photography