Two years ago I packed up all of my things, said goodbye to all of my friends and family, and transplanted my 29 year-old roots from Colorado into Texas. After settling in, I started working at Texas Land Conservancy. It was a little overwhelming to be in a position where I had to communicate about nature in Texas with limited knowledge of…well, Texas nature. This state is so big, and I had so much to learn! I started going out onto TLC protected properties for hikes, meeting families that had lived on the land for decades, learning about birds, trees, bugs, and I even got to see one of my favorite Texas animals up close, a gray fox (featured below). It’s been incredible. I’ve made new friends, I’ve traveled all over the state, and I’ve realized something I had never thought about before… these experiences were so completely different from what I thought nature was for most of my life.
I came from a state that is known for its outdoor recreation. People go to Colorado from around the world to experience the great outdoors. But I never felt a part of that world. Nature was extreme. It was for mountain bikers, trail runners, backpackers, skiers, and rock climbers… it wasn’t for me. But then I came to Texas. I’ve now experienced nature in a completely new way. Instead of people constantly asking me why I’ve never been skiing or why I don’t want to hike a 14er at 2am, I am surrounded by people who just enjoy being outside. I don’t have to avoid nature for fear of not being able to keep up. I can experience nature however I want, no questions asked.
So when someone asks me “Why nature?” Why is that your cause? I tell them “Because nature is for everyone”… even someone who spent most of their life not realizing it.
There are a million and one stories out there just like mine about why people love, enjoy, even need nature. We want to make sure people can continue telling these stories long into the future.
It has been such an amazing experience working for Texas Land Conservancy and I am so grateful to all of you that have helped me feel more at home in nature.