Vital Nature: The forests and you

Trees and wildlife, the exponentially vast ecosystem that surrounds us is made up of millions of life forms, both plant and animal. Forest restoration and preservation groups work together as a community to reinstate the beauty, tranquility and refuge of the national forests. They keep areas clean and litter-free and they seek to expand the plant area of state lands, rather than letting the square footage be consumed by city life and pavement. There are many communities and coalitions here in Washington that work to enhance the potential of forest life in our state, as well as promote forest health, public safety and community economic vitality. And who makes up those groups? You, your community members, you friends and your neighbors.

Volunteering to work with associations such as Conservation Northwest, Washington Conservation Corps, American Forests, or any other of the hundreds groups that incorporate into or focus their work around forest restoration and preservation is an essential step towards creating a safe, sustainably and sound place to live for all. Many of these groups work towards forest restoration by planting and taking care of forest life, and also be removing toxic build up that coagulates as a result of nearby city life. The detriment of such pollutants may not be felt be individuals all at once, but it hurts our ecosystem and we need to work against that. By educating yourself and committing some time and energy to a wholesome, restorative cause, you will do justice for yourself and your local and global community.

Anyone can work for forest restoration, afforestation, and ecological restoration. You don’t even have to do such work through a coalition or network, because simply picking up trash, planting a few seeds, or reaching out to your other community members and telling them of the importance of other wildlife to our ecosystem is doing a great part. All of this work goes towards improving human livelihood, as well as ecological integrity. There are also thousands of paid jobs available at local restoration companies, which may encourage some with less time to spare to become more involved in their community and their ecosystem, as a whole.

It is important to submerge yourself in the essence of the forest. Such as gardening is therapeutic, simply being out in the wilderness allows the lungs to breathe fresh, oxygenated air and for the mind to think more clearly and relax. Gaining hands-on experience working with and for the forest and environmentally centered fields of work and leisure will not only help you relax and feel good about what you do, but will also put our world in a more peaceful and sustainable state than it already is.