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Kentucky

Why I Give

There are many, many reasons why Ken Brooks chooses to regularly donate time and financial resources to The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky. However, one of the biggest reasons is because he hopes that his grandchildren and their grandchildren will have the opportunity to experience the diversity of nature he witnesses in the world today.

Ken Brooks, a volunteer Preserve Monitor at The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky, finds the most enjoyment in sharing nature with others.

Nature.org:

What is the primary reason you give so in the way of human and financial resources to The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky?

Ken Brooks:

There are many, many worthy causes that need financial support. I choose to give to The Nature Conservancy because I support their mission of protecting natural diversity. To achieve this, the organization needs resources to carry out preservation and conservation efforts.

Because I am actively involved with organization, I am absolutely certain that The Nature Conservancy makes good use of my donations. The staff there treats my contributions with the same care that they would their own personal resources. While the organization pursues activities across the globe, I also get to see and participate in those efforts personally through my involvement. It is rewarding to see the impact of my donations at the Conservancy’s local nature preserves first hand.

Nature.org:

What is your favorite place in nature?

Ken Brooks:

My favorite place in nature is The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky’s Sally Brown/Crutcher/Wallace Nature Preserve located along the Kentucky River in the state’s Palisades area. The nature preserve also happens to be adjacent to my home. I enjoy the capability and the opportunity to hike this preserve regularly.

Nature.org:

What makes the Kentucky River Palisades so special?

Ken Brooks:

This is a spectacular location with mature forests, unique geology and native grass fields resulting in very diverse flora and fauna. And it is constantly changing. During each season and even on each day, the sights change – making me almost feel compelled to hike daily. Imagine if I missed some evolving nature experience – a new wild flower, an expanding sink hole, changing leaf colors, a special salamander, a new snow cover with fresh animal tracks, and on and on.

Nature.org:

What is your favorite memory of experiencing nature?

Ken Brooks:

I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit lots of very special places in nature – in Kentucky, around our country, and even across the globe. I am always amazed by the natural settings our world has to offer.

Since I monitor and manage some of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky's nature preserves, my greatest memories lie in times I've helped others, and especially young people, experience all the outdoors has to offer. What can be better than watching a group of fourth graders visit a nature preserve and hike the trails you helped locate and build, read excitedly the interpretive signs you helped put in place, or enjoy a lunch on the picnic table you assisted in assembling?

Even more personal is hiking the same trails with my own grandkids and having them recognize the spectacular setting and also appreciate that their grandpa played a role in making it possible. To observe their excitement as they search – and find – foliage of a rare orchid and express great interest in returning in a few months to see blooms. I am happiest in nature but most happy when I can feel that I helped others experience it as well.

Nature.org:

What is your ultimate wish for nature?

Ken Brooks:

I wish that every individual could come to appreciate the reality that we have only one Earth. We have an obligation to leave the earth at least as well as we found it and hopefully help to correct some of the damage our generation and past generations have inflicted.

I wish that every individual could understand that we need to take the long view. Doing what is easy and immediately beneficial but with a negative long-term impact is foolish and selfish. We may be here for decades or even a century, but we each have an obligation to leave an earth that cannot just survive, but really prosper for millennia.


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