I had the good fortune to grow up on a farm, a place with not a neighbor in sight and the Blue Ridge Mountains framing sunsets to the west. As children my brothers and I explored the streams and woods, and later we helped maintained the pastures to support the beef cattle. Daily weather was experienced, not climate-controlled. Nature defined the seasons – peeper frogs announced the warming of spring and the stirring of large-mouth bass in the lake, summer was sticky hot and a time to make hay, walnuts littered the yard and stained cloths in the fall, and occasionally winter cold produced ice thick enough for skating.
The Nature Conservancy doesn’t promise idyllic childhood settings, but the organization can preserve natural places that humans visit for periodic recharging. As population growth quietly encroaches on open spaces, TNC intercedes to preserve as many of these places as possible for tomorrow. Governments worldwide lack the funding and foresight to set aside lands for the future, and I gladly give to The Nature Conservancy so that it can fulfill this role.
Andrew Carnegie sought to do “real and permanent good” in his philanthropic efforts. TNC employs donated funds to purchase special places, preserving them forever—a simple and brilliant mission. It’s hard for me to imagine a current organization that is accomplishing so much real and permanent good.
I work out regularly. Hey, I am betting heavily on the medicinal benefits of exercise. OK, maybe it’s about training for competitions. For many years, I have put a ride, race or triathlon on the yearly schedule. There it looms on the calendar--a chance for glory …or perhaps mediocrity. So the workouts continue. When invited to join The Nature Conservancy team in the Safaricom half-marathon, I was quick to accept this trifecta: a good event for the calendar, a chance to experience the nature of Kenya, and last but not least, an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for The Nature Conservancy.