I have an amazing job – I get to protect land and water resources for future generations. I love getting my girls integrated into what I do. Though they will choose their own career path, I hope that they remember these exploratory walks, fishing trips, hikes, clean-ups, etc, and integrate them into their profession. I hope they know that they, too, can make change happen; that they realize we are a part of a greater ecosystem; and that they will view it as such, rather than a commodity to be exploited.

My girls, Mia and Raquel, ask questions, such as “why is there so much garbage in the woods,” and they make comments about plastic bags, “what if everybody picked up trash one weekend?” they wonder. A neighbor saw a post about this on my personal social media page and stated that he is bringing his boys with us the next time we go out; maybe it’ll catch on in the neighborhood! My girls commonly note how sad it is when they see a whole forested area cut down, and they’ve asked, “where will the kids who played there go and where will the animals go?”

We have hiked all over northeast Ohio, exploring the treasures of our region. They love swimming and fishing Lake Erie, and watching storms roll in at Bradstreet Landing.

These photos are hiking and fishing at Cahoon Creek.

~ Derek Schafer, Executive Director at West Creek Conservancy

(Header image is West Creek Confluence.)