by Ingrid Spetz
As I walk along the levee that is the juncture between old tidal marsh and new, listening to the songs of the birds exploring this changing land, I reflect upon the aspects of my life that mirror the landscape before me. I notice little seedlings sprouting up on the new ground and think about all that has gone into providing them this opportunity to take root and grow, so that they in turn may provide habitat for other living things as this ecosystem develops and flourishes.
In this season of giving, I am thankful for all the people who have had the foresight to help plant those seedlings in my life. As an environmental studies student both at Santa Rosa Junior College and then at Sonoma State University, I was the recipient of a number of scholarships established by forward-thinking individuals who had the wish to invest in talented, motivated individuals who someday might make a difference in the world. I was given the opportunity to intern with a number of organizations, which provided me the hands-on experience to refine my career objectives and understand the landscape before me. And at Sonoma Land Trust, my initial internship as a hike assistant at the newly-acquired Jenner Headlands Preserve led to my involvement in developing our county-wide On the Land program, which resulted in my being offered a long-term position with the organization. Even today, the fact that I can work with such a great conservation organization is reliant entirely upon our supporters who contribute so generously because they believe in the future of this place.
So as I look across the wetlands, breathe in the air and see all the smiling faces of visitors discovering this newly-restored marsh, I think of my son, Forest, now two years old, and I imagine all the children who will witness the marsh lands fully restored over the span of their lives. I can’t help but think that somehow, maybe, all the investment and hope that people have put into allowing my roots to grow and limbs to reach wide has somehow borne fruit, and this generosity is multiplying itself a thousand-fold.
Thank you, everyone who envisions a beautiful world that will remain for future generations. We remember your kindness and dedicate our lives to bringing that vision to fruition.
Ingrid Spetz is Sonoma Land Trust’s outings manager and spends her time devising opportunities for people to experience the diversity of protected landscapes of Sonoma County.
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.