A few weeks ago, a group of students from the University of Vermont volunteered with the Intervale Conservation Nursery, propagating new trees and shrubs in our warm, humid greenhouse. At lunch, during an informal round table bag lunch discussion with Intervale Center staff, the students asked if staff could share how they ended up at the Intervale Center and what values led them to promote conservation and sustainable agriculture.
Seth, our wonderful Conservation Nursery Assistant Manager (pictured right), shared his story: He was in his early thirties, working random jobs out West and had no idea what he wanted to do next. One day, driving through Oregon with his wife Kala, he came across huge tracts of clear cut forest. Filled with deep sadness and resolve, he decided right then and there that he wanted to be part of healing the destruction he saw. When life led him back to Vermont, he got involved with the Intervale Center as a volunteer and eventually started working with the Conservation Nursery. For the past four years, Seth has shared his deep passion for healing the earth by planting native trees with thousands of volunteers.
I was inspired by Seth's story and his desire to be part of healing the Earth that ultimately led him into conservation. Hearing Seth's story made me want to learn more about why all of you - our community, our supporters, our volunteers, and our friends - are invested in taking care of the Earth and making sure our food system is good, clean and fair.
Over the next two weeks, we're collecting stories about what made YOU care about conservation and sustainable agriculture. Was it one "aha" moment like Seth had while experiencing the negative impact of human activity on the Earth? Was it a delicious, farm-fresh meal at your neighbor's house? Was it an experience meeting someone like Seth as a volunteer, or in a college class?
With your permission, we'll include your stories as part of our "Love the Earth. Honor a loved One. Plant a Tree" campaign that you'll hear more about in the coming weeks. We are raising money to support water quality by planting trees along rivers and streams throughout Vermont. Our hope is that your stories will inspire others to be part of healing the Earth, too!
Tell us your story! What made you care about conservation and/or sustainable agriculture, and how do you put those values into practice?