The leaves are great examples of how each of us is different and on a different journey.
Each leaf is unique as it grows and thrives connected to the tree, but that’s not all that makes a leaf unique. Once the leaf has completed the cycle of growth, it begins its journey back down to the ground.
Watching a leaf fall from a tree, at the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum, I realized how each leaf is different in the way they fall as well.
Each leaf has its own way of returning to the roots. Each person has their own path that allows them to come back to realizing who they are and their place on this earth.
When we experience this connection to earth, we become its stewarts and will to protect and preserve this beautiful planet.
The 14th annual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum was full of passion, inspiration and excellence, reminding us why we do what we do to take care of the water and the land.
Mamie A. Parker was the keynote speaker at the forum, and she was so inspiring. She spoke about how we as advocates, educators and stewarts of the watershed, can overcome obstacles to keep going and to keep growing. One of the big takeaways was eliminating the 4 C’s from our thoughts and speech: complaining, criticizing, comparing, and competing. When we do those 4 things, we really separate ourselves from one another and therefore can not grow and succeed.
We have to do it together, as a team; If you want to go fast, go alone… if you want to go far, go together.
Our first step towards helping the Bay is collaboration.
“Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean.” -Sylvia Earle
One of the sessions I attended at the forum was called Spiritual Voices in Nature. We walked through the woods with four faith leaders. Each leading the way back to nature through their own individual ceremony. It was an amazing experience to be in nature, listening to one another share our connection to the earth and spirit; something that I wish to be involved in more this year.
My second year at the forum taught me many new things! Live staking is when you cut branches from trees and stake them in the ground which triggers hormones to make the branch root and bud!
I learned about the importance of all aspects of our community working together for the good of the earth! The port of Baltimore works closely with the community to help handle the dredge material in an environmentally beneficial way for the whole community, through the creation of Masonville Cove. Located in South Baltimore, Masonville Cove is the nation’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership, and home to a state-of-the-art green building nature center and beautiful waterfront public trails.
The forum also had many wonderful interactive art activities. One of which is called the Climate Ribbon Project! The Climate Ribbon is an arts ritual to grieve what each of us stands to lose if we do not take care of our earth, and affirm our solidarity as we unite.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent BCPS and Ridgely at the Watershed Forum, and to learn new things to share with others!
Thank you Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay , and the National Conservation Training Center for hosting such an amazing event, and a big thank you to the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds for the scholarship!