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It's the season of giving back and giving thanks.  Writer Jill Wells talks to Nebraska Trustee Stacy Simon about what motivates her.

Jill :

Why do you give to The Nature Conservancy?

Stacy :

Because Nature supports all life and nature is part of us. We are created from, exist in and return to nature. TNC is not political, but works with many organizations and individuals toward a common goal: conserving nature for future generations that which all life will depend. I feel most connected to my source when in nature, and I can think of no better way to support it than to give to TNC. I’ve seen how they use science and shared experiences to achieve our common goals. Without it, we wouldn’t be here to even contemplate other forms of philanthropy such as poverty, education and the arts. Those are truly dear, but without nature the rest are irrelevant.

Jill :

What is your favorite place in nature?

Stacy :

My absolute favorite place in nature is the West Fork trail in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, Arizona. It’s one of the most photographed spots on the planet and the trail is about 3 miles long, crisscrossing Oak Creek which runs through towering canyon walls with rock formations and deciduous trees and plants, which is pretty close to perfect for all my senses. I visit this spot once or twice a year spring through autumn and it soothes my soul.

Jill :

Tell me about your favorite memory or experience in nature.

Stacy :

When I was young during a camping trip with my family, my father taught me to experience nature by looking up into the giant cottonwood treetops and spotting the tiny bright-yellow American Goldfich – which opened an entire world to me. From then on, I’ve never looked at a sunset, ant hill or backyard bird the same way again. I don’t just see it, I feel and experience it - and observing nature is my favorite pastime.

Jill :

What is your holiday wish for nature?

Stacy :

That we would all slow down, deepen our breath and notice the world outside of our houses. When you are driving in your afternoon rush, allow your eyes to broaden over the expanse of the sky and notice the world overhead to see the clouds, sunset, and birds and appreciate all that allows us to be alive. Instead of the ugly winter road in front of you, if you expand your vision to the entire windshield you will truly feel alive. Maybe then we might appreciate the larger natural world which supports us and is us.


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