Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Wishes, Hopes and Resolutions for the New Year


New Year’s Day is traditionally the day we reflect on the year gone by, and although I have never been a fan on making resolutions we all have things we might like to change or improve for the upcoming New Year.

Sometimes it is also a day for wishes, hopes and dreams. We daydream of seeing visions for a better future for the environment and our definitive optimism of the coming year. Those special hopes always seem amplified for all the good folks that care about the earth and for those that work all year to make our environment a better place for everyone.

With those many people and their aspirations in mind I thought I would ask them what their wishes would be for the for 2017.

For many birders like Marianne Herrmann, it is always about the hope of seeing a new species or two in the coming year “I would like to see an owl somewhere!” Marianne told me. I am sure that is a 2017 goal for many folks.

And friend Jim Wright has hopes for the year ahead also. “I would wish everyone a greener 2017, with visits to new vistas, great looks at their favorite birds and “target” birds, and a commitment to make our open spaces better places for nature to thrive.”

For Marie Longo 2017 will be a time for personal goals and hopes for more people to enjoy the outdoors. “ I want to learn to better identify the birds I have trouble with and to have more children and families get outdoors and experience the wonders of nature.” Goals we all share Marie, thanks for all you do.

Mary Kostus wrote to tell me, “My wish is to spend more time outside and enjoy every plant, animal, insect, human, sense, sight and smell my body encounters, and to apologize to every tick I squish.” Thanks Mary, I think squishing ticks is still acceptable last I checked.

And Dave Hall, who has given of himself and sacrificed much to make our earth a better place will renew his commitment in 2017. “I resolve to lead by example in protecting the environment and resolve to help others appreciate the natural world around us.” Well said, Dave.

And of course there are many who are very concerned about the future of the environment, like Jimmy Macaluso “Well after the events of the past year I resolve not to take anything for granted and put my money where my mouth is, both figuratively and literally, when it comes to environmental issues,” Jimmy said.

George Reskakis, who has worked hard for many years to preserve and protect our environment, has some specific wishes for 2017. “I would love to see a commitment by our politicians to begin supporting the purchase of all available land and its protection in perpetuity. Our county is the most densely populated and we definitely do not need any more development on undeveloped land.

“Finally, I want to thank all the amazing volunteers, not only at Teaneck Creek but everywhere in the environmental community who, despite sometimes frustrating situations, keep working to make our local world a better place.” Thank you George, for all you do and have done for the environment.

For myself my resolution will be to work harder to help more people understand why every tree is important, that every bird deserves respect and to let everyone know that to have wildlife in our lives is a privilege not an inconvenience.

My wish is to have everyone appreciate that just because the eagle, osprey and peregrine falcon have made a comeback from the brink of extinction it does not mean they are here to stay. That we all need to make sure we join together to protect them no matter where they live even if it causes us some inconveniences.

They have fought their way back now and we need to do our job to continue to be sure they have a home with us for generations to come. And last my dream is to have all of us get more people, families and children outside.

We will have no future if we don’t get people out of the house to appreciate, understand and ultimately love and care for the wild places we have around us. We all need to find a way to have everyone connect better to our natural world or there won’t be one there when we finally go looking for it.

I firmly believe that no matter who you are, where you live or what political party you relate to we all hold a special place in our heart and souls for nature and its wild creatures. So let’s all work together and set an example for everyone to see in 2017 and make good things happen for future of our environment .

Have a Wonderful New Year and hope to see all of you in our Meadowlands!

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