Op-Ed: Nature in Need

Coronavirus has hit everyone hard – our healthcare and education systems, small businesses everywhere, families, really every aspect of society.

During this time we’ve seen heroic efforts and support from individuals putting themselves in harms way to care for others as well as businesses offering free services for others to move forward.

We’ve seen the world seek solace and healing in nature and heard medical experts and nature gurus alike espousing the benefits of nature: blood pressure reduction, pain diminishment, improvement to cardiovascular and metabolic health, depression reduction, improved energy, and ever so importantly, improved immune function.

We’ve viewed stunning imagery- clear water in Venice, wildlife in the streets, cities with clear air instead of smog. All around us the need for nature and the human impact on our natural world is evident.

Even with this evidence, we’re seeing funding and support for conservation efforts diminish at this time. Nature centers who rely on visitors and nonprofit conservation groups whose primary funding comes from in person fundraisers in the spring are struggling to raise the money needed to sustain their operations.

These conservation heroes are quietly going about their work like they always do – completing their projects – taking care of the land, water, and wildlife that keep our world in balance and healthy.

Now, more than ever, these leaders and organizations need our support.

There are three simple ways to lend a helping hand:

  1. Support a Conservation Nonprofit – (Texan by Nature partners with over 80 wonderful organizations delivering conservation work across Texas and beyond). These organizations are continuing their work even though funding is uncertain. Make a donation, share their story on social media, thank them for their efforts, and volunteer if possible.

  2. Bring Conservation to Your Home – Conservation organizations have supplied project ideas, digital education resources, and more for all ages. Plan and start a project today – create pollinator habitat in your backyard by planting native flowering plants, install a rainwater collection system, become a citizen scientist, and more! You can make an impact for conservation at home.

  3. Integrate Conservation into Your Future – If your business has shut down or slowed operations, it’s the perfect time to re-write operating procedures, think about process improvements, research new practices, etc. As you ramp back up in the near future, you can do so in a way that is better for natural resources, health, and profit. We’re hearing from our oil & gas partners that it’s the perfect time to put the pieces in place to implement dark skies and water conservation measures that are proven benefits for business AND nature.

As we move forward, there’s an opportunity to keep nature and conservation as an ingredient in everything we do – at home, at work, at play, while leading, while dreaming.

We’ve seen and experienced firsthand our need for the outdoors and its healing effects on our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

It’s critical that we realize this opportunity as well as support the organizations who are producing the research, spaces, and innovations that we can count on for years to come.

Authors: Joni Carswell and Taylor Keys – Texan By Nature

Texan by Nature (TxN) unites conservation and business leaders who believe Texas’ prosperity is dependent on the conservation of its natural resources. TxN amplifies projects and activates new investment in conservation which returns real benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources.

Texan by Nature achieves mission goals through the Texan by Nature Certification program, Conservation Wrangler program, Symposia Series, and the Texan by Nature 20. Get involved and learn more at www.texanbynature.org and follow on Facebook @TexanbyNature, Twitter @TexanbyNature, and Instagram @texanbynature.


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