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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Sunabe Seawall, Chatan Cho, Okinawa, Japan

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Sunabe Seawall, Chatan Cho, Okinawa, Japan
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becasteel24



Registered: March 2009
City/Town/Province: APO
Posts: 2
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Autobiographical sketch of Brant


I walk along a trail through the forest, the trees a lively green; my favorite color. Continuing along my path, the guide leading in front and my family trailing behind, we bypass a large sign screaming Glacier National Park in bold blue letters. Wild strawberries cluster at the foundation of the poles holding up the sign that have been so carefully anchored into the soil. This place is beautiful; natural, nearly untouched by the destructive hand of man. This heavenly landscape, swarming with flocks of healthy native birds and inhabited by creatures representing great sophistication and power, with the wind blowing clean and the rivers flowing unpolluted, truly captures the essence of wilderness, undisturbed and in peace.
My eyes are unable to contain and fully appreciate the vastness and superiority of the forest. Such magnificence is beyond man. I use my senses to better grasp it. Taking a deep breath, I catch the refreshing smell of the surrounding vegetation. I close my eyes and open my ears to hear birds chirping, insects buzzing, and the trees swooshing. The forest is full of precious life, all in the hands of neglecting humans. My family, the guide, and I continue our trek.
We approach a boundary where the vast green is cut short and all life seems to come to a screeching halt. The trees, lifeless and lacking of vegetation, many of which lie crippled on the ground, are covered in black soot. Everything is in ruin, lifeless and covered in colorless black. It seems as though some great disaster had struck this place. We curiously follow the guide, who continues without hesitation.
Seeing the distress in our faces, the guide explains to us that this is the location of a great natural wildfire.
“That is so sad,” sympathizes my mother. We all share her concern. The guide then puts us at ease and explains that this was no horrible phenomenon at all. Rather, although the burnt forest and lifeless trees may portray the image of death and disaster, it is actually beneficial for the ecosystem and provides nutrients, minerals, and therefore life for the future generations of magnificent trees and luxurious forests. This results in a healthier, more bio-diverse and biologically sustainable forest.
Indeed, as I kneel down on the edge of the trail, I find tiny blades of grass and already blooming wild flowers sprouting from the fractures in a burnt fallen tree. The shrubs flourish at the expense of the tree that liberally shelters and nourishes the shrubs. One generation provides life and sustainability for the next.
“How generous,” I comment. How generous that these trees, lacking brains and the complex functions of human beings, would make such sacrifice to provide for others. At this moment, as I gaze down at the new life provided by this fallen tree, I am, as all people should be, envious. I am envious of the tree that so freely sacrifices itself for the sake of the future.
If only humans could be the same. How is it that man has accomplished so much in this world, yet in its efforts, has had little concern for the future and the amassing global environmental issues? It is such issues that threaten all that man has strived for throughout history and therefore, threatens both mankind’s history and future all together. In our own wisdom, we as humans have indeed become foolish.
Since that day at Glacier National Park, I have reflected on the human race, often so materialistic and stranded in the present with little or no concern for the future. It has become clear to me that I am living in a disaster bound world filled with people who are content and apathetic towards this disaster, a phenomenon in desperate need of change. Therefore, I will strive to influence and inform those who carelessly exploit this beautiful and generous, yet limited Earth and its resources; this demonstration of God’s great openhandedness and love. I have committed myself to something larger than my own materialistic desires. I will make a difference in this world. Like the burnt tree has for future generations of forest, I will do my best to rid myself of the many unnecessary desirable pleasures that are depleting our earth, for the betterment of future generations, so that they too can sustainably flourish and not be burdened by the many problems bestowed upon this generation by man’s selfish unlimited exploitation of our limited environment.


Here’s a picture of me at a beach clean-up, making a difference and giving my owed time to the beautiful Sunabe Seawall in Okinawa, Japan. No matter where you’re at, you can make a difference.
· Date: March 26, 2009 · Views: 4073 · File size: 27.7kb, 69.1kb · : 640 x 480 ·
Hours Volunteered: 50
Volunteers: 10
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 15 to 18
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 0.7
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 6.75
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