Site Stewards are an invaluable resource for Allegheny Land Trust and provide a critical role in our conservation work as we strive toward our goal of exemplary stewardship. They increase our capacity to manage the land resources we have and enable us to focus staff time and energy on raising the funds to acquire and protect more natural area. Diane Meister is the site steward at Audubon Greenway.
Notes from the Field
By Diane Meister - Volunteer Site Steward at Audubon Greenway
Audubon Greenway covered wth snow
How clean everything looks when covered with snow! The trees are bare, the ground white and the sky is either grey or brilliant blue.
For the longest time, snow was piled high along the roads, covering the trash discarded by people driving by. Even though I don’t like snow, it covers the litter. I really don’t understand people who throw trash out of their vehicle windows. (Pardon my little rant.)
How grateful I am, however, to know there are places in Western Pennsylvania where people care about the land and take care of it. The Allegheny Land Trust works hard to obtain land to protect, knowing that it will be there forever for people to enjoy. The land is appreciated as well as the plants and animals that reside there. In winter, everything is covered with snow and you can easily follow the tracks of the various animals. The plants are dormant, soaking up the drainage from the snow to get ready for spring growth.
You should take the time to walk the trails and notice the new growth and the re-birth of the trees. Really look at everything around you…. how many different trees can you identify? Or does it not matter what kind of trees they are as long as you can walk among them, use them for shade, and appreciate the varieties of bark and leaves? Can you notice the differences from one year to the next or maybe just from season to season? How much larger the trees have become or how much overgrowth has taken possession of the trails? Are there new animals in residence? When was the last time you saw a fox or a pheasant? When walking through the woods, do you notice the trees that have recently fallen? Is there anything more beautiful than a piece of wood? Paying attention to the various shadings of color, the swirls, texture and shapes that result from years of weathering is something that you must make a conscious effort to notice. Don’t rush through the pathways just to get exercise. Take the time to appreciate the landscape.
As a volunteer Site Steward, I get great sense of satisfaction knowing that I’m helping Allegheny Land Trust to care for land and protect it into perpetuity. You can too, by volunteering to help maintain trails, assist with festival booths or perform office help. Give the office a call. Oh …and let’s keep as much land as litter free as possible!