Monthly Archives: December 2020

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Holiday Wishes for the Environment and a Little More

Courtesy: Chris Takacs

Someone once said that optimism is the heart of conservation. For everyone that works tirelessly to replant the forest, fight to turn back climate change, protect an endangered species or plant a milkweed needs to always have the hope and trust that maybe one day they will make things better for both for wildlife and people. So since the holiday season is here, and now more than ever we could all use a wish or two to come true to help us all, I thought I might take the liberty of making a wish of my own.

We have witnessed unprecedented tragedy in just the last few months and yet at the same time  we have also seen and been honored with so many extraordinary people among us standing up to help the sick, the hungry and the helpless folks. Many of those same people have also somehow found the time and the energy to still speak up for the environment when they could just let it go for another time.

Credit: Moe Lehmann

So it is my wish that no matter who we are, where we live or who we voted for that we will all come together and agree that we all need clean air and water to live. We all get goosebumps at the sight of a Bald Eagle and we want all our children and great grandchildren to play in the woods, fields and meadows just like we all once did.

 I can wish that we will all come to understand that our health is connected directly to the environment, that the term “Tree Hugger” is a badge of honor, and that doing something about climate change is not about political parties but about people and our future living together

Ok, so maybe it’s just me, maybe I am just a trusting soul, maybe I see more things that join us together than separate us that could make my wish a possibility. Maybe it’s just how I was raised, where I come from or it could just be the holiday season that has dimmed my common senses but something has me believing that we all really do care about our birds, land and water, and about one another.

For many years I have had the honor of taking folks into places like the Meadowlands to show them the wonders of the incredible places that we treasure, never asking or caring about what they did outside this day that they chose to commune with the natural world. Yet I could see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice that they do honestly care

I wish and hope for the day we can say to each other, the Monarch Butterfly matters, the Meadowlands will always be worth protecting, and every bird and creature deserves a place in this world. And that we can, when we sit down with each other and look each other in the eye, there will be no more debate on how we need to work together to protect and preserve our environment. The only question will be how best we can accomplish it together.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season, thank you for all you do and one day soon, I will see you in the Meadowlands once again.