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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California, USA

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Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California, USA
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cullen92



Registered: October 2009
City/Town/Province: Ventura
Posts: 1
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Sitting on Inspiration Point of Anacapa Island, I look out at the ocean and the cliffs in the distance. I hear the sound of the seagulls flying overhead and the tune of the wind whistling. I smell the ocean air and that crisp scent draws me closer. I notice the details; I see the seals scattered in the shade of the cove. I watch the waves break unevenly on the shore and I see a sailboat drift across the water. I contemplate what I gain from nature and how it impacts my life.
Nature represents the importance of community and the beauty of imperfection. Challenges in life create beauty whether it is the waves breaking on the shore to form a cliff or something as simple as me learning from my mistakes. In an eco-system, every species is reliant on each other for the continuum of the life cycle. I give to society because I know I am valuable in the sequence. I know I make a difference to the world and I want to be remembered for making that difference a positive one. I have noticed a landscape is not perfectly spaced or straight-lined with a flat elevation. What makes it appealing is how it is not perfect but presents an eye-catching picture. I think of my past in the same sort of way. Growing up with a single mom and facing issues beyond my age, has never made life easy. I was born with both depression and anxiety and faced the circumstances of divorced parents and abuse in my life. These setbacks, the rigid edges and unlevel land, led me to be insightful and motivated. I became who I am because of what I experienced. I did not have an ideal childhood and yet I was inspired to make my overall appearance beautiful, in the same way as the landscape of Inspiration Point.
Kneeling on the ground, I look up and see my friends and the influence I have made. As we work, The Beatles are sounding through the stereo speakers and we are talking about life, our philosophy. The park ranger joins in and tells us about his experiences. I think to myself this is school; this is how I learn. I feel accomplished as we are the hope that the native plants on Anacapa Island will persist. It might be a small contribution in comparison to the size of the world; however, every minute of the time I spend is worth it. A couple years ago, the island was almost entirely ice plant, but now section by section, the native plants are growing and the species are surviving. This illuminates the impact a community can contribute for better or for worse.
Nature has become my escape, my focus and my passion. I cope by giving myself purpose. With this, I gained strength to get past the unbearable. I gained motivation. I am Environmental Club President and volunteer for the National Park Service because when I give to nature, I gain wisdom. Nature portrays what is important. It portrays beauty and community. Nature explains what cannot be understood on its own. When people apply nature to life, they gain insight. Protecting the environment is a moral responsibility that I feel passionate about and will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Date: October 6, 2009 Views: 2985 File size: 15.9kb, 48.2kb : 600 x 450
Hours Volunteered: 140
Volunteers: 15
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: High School Students/Park Rangers
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