|RETURN TO ARCHIVES|
Greetings to my fellow Master Naturalists,
I am so thrilled to be a part of this great organization. Sometimes it gets pretty depressing to read and hear about the degradation of our environment. How refreshing it is to know there are activities available to actually improve the environment and educate the public. That’s why I became a Master Naturalist. It now provides me the opportunity to ensure the birds, butterflies other critters I enjoy will be there in the future.
In addition to becoming more knowledgeable and providing our volunteer service, I believe there are two ways in which we need to tell the world about our commitment to the natural world. First, each of us could sport the “Horned Toad” license plates on our vehicles. These are available for an additional $25 per year, with $20 going benefiting Wildlife Diversity through Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW). This is the branch of TPW that supports our Urban Wildlife Biologists. What a great way to support the cause and to advertise to the world! For more information, go to their web site: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/plate/.
Second, each of us can turn our “lawns” into a Wildlife Habitat. Both the Texas Parks and Wildlife Texas Wildscapes Program (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/nature/wildscapes/) and the National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program (http://www.nwf.org/backyardwildlifehabitat/index.cfm?pid=20") recognize homeowners who turn a residence-, business- or school- yard into a Wildlife Habitat. Without saying a word, we make a statement that man must live in harmony with the natural world around us. We share this space with the flora and fauna that were here before us and have an obligation to ensure their wellbeing as well as ours.
Thank you for being a part of this important grass roots effort. I look forward to hearing from you on your efforts, in the words of our Mission Statement, to “provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas” within our communities.
Diane Graves Smith