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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Upper Wisconsin, USA

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Upper Wisconsin, USA
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Registered: December 2009
City/Town/Province: Bangor
Posts: 1
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Every since I was a born my parents felt an extreme importance of creating my bond with nature. We spend a good deal of our free time exploring the natural world around us. We live in the country and I go to a rural school. We garden, hunt and fish together. We really enjoy exploring, so in the summer time we usually pick destinations to travel. Sometimes we do short trips for an afternoon and other times we venture for either a weekend or week long exploration. We try to go to many of the state, county, and national natural landmarks. We camp, canoe, and fish frequently. We also donate financially to several organizations that protect wildlife and the environment. Granted the donations are of humble amounts. We give where we can.
In our many explorations we have seen many wonderful things, no matter how great or small. We have seen native brook trout, migrating butterflies, and patches of the illusive morel mushroom. We have viewed newly born fawns and we have eaten wonderfully plump blackberries. It is always a rewarding adventure! It is disheartening to see the amounts of trash left in the natural world. The waterways are littered as well as the shorelines. We are clearly reminded of how humans are rather disrespectful in the natural environment. The human presence is evident almost everywhere. The greatness of our environment is always present. I love being in nature, the sunshine warming my face, the earth filling my nose with the wonderfully earthy scents, the birds filling my ears with their powerful harmony. My heart is content in our natural environment, I am thankful for this gift and its accessibility.
I am proud to say my family has found a way to give a little back. Every since I was old enough to fish on my own; believe me it was shortly after I could walk, we have tried to give back to our natural world. We decided to stop looking the other way at all the trash littering our hiking trails, our biking trails, and our shorelines and waterways. Anywhere we go we bring along small recyclable plastic bags that you get when you buy your groceries. Our backpacks and tackle boxes are always outfitted with bags to collect trash in. Our actions are most frequently viewed in our local area.
When hiking in Devilís Lake State Park we all wear backpacks and pick up trash as we hike. This is a very popular park so there is always plenty to pick up. It feels really good to know the next hiker will experience the trail and all of its beauty with one less piece of trash. We like to canoe the Kickapoo River. The Kickapoo is a unique area, with beautiful rock walls and rolling pastures. It is canoed heavily by many ranges of people. It really is a beautiful canoe trip on a lazy river; however the heavy traffic means lots of litter in the water and along the shore. We have gathered everything from beverage cans and bottles to shoes and other clothing articles. We usually pack a cooler and spend the whole day on the river. The fishing is pretty good, but let that remain our little secret. We always share with each other how extremely beautiful this peaceful area is.
We fish for trout in our local area. We always gather a great deal of fishing garbage, anything from old fishing line and lures to forgotten and broken bait containers. This is very rewarding and often we are gifted with some great gear we find. I have collected several unique lures left on the end of tangled fishing line. On days where the fish do not bite, you can see one or all of us resort to just cleaning up the shore lines. The really cool thing is no one asked us to do this. We feel better in a clean environment and it feels good to know the next guy to fish this spot will see it pristine.
My family was not aware of your program when we began our outdoor clean up. We decided to make a difference on our own. We do not do this for recognition or financial gain. We do this because it is the right thing to do. It always feels better to be some where free of litter. It is nice to know you can run barefoot in the sand, or wade in the shallows as you fish. We do not clean up in one specific area, rather everywhere we go we try to do a little. Clean up is usually done in a quiet manner without complaint. Other outdoorsmen have watched our efforts and we only hope to reflect upon them the importance of being aware of human impact in the wonderfulness of nature. You can not make others clean up. Force is not the way to make changes. I feel we can lead by example. I walk into the outdoors excited about my interaction with nature and I leave with a clean conscience, knowing I left behind only my footprints.
Date: December 20, 2009 ∑ Views: 2857 ∑ File size: 21.4kb, 2036.8kb: 1517 x 2125 ∑
Hours Volunteered: 120
Volunteers: 10
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 4 to 40
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): multiple ranges
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