Can you say creek crossing? We had SO much fun hiking with NAU freshman along the West Fork Trail on April 17th, 2019. The enthusiasm, curiosity, and desire to become stewards for this special area was so inspiring to see from these students! The goal of this hike was to give many who hadn’t been hiking before or visited this area, a reason to get out and explore, learn proper outdoor ethics, and to hopefully encourage friends to do the same! We got our feet wet, learned lots of geology and ecology facts, and picked up litter that had been left behind.
We at Oak Creek Watershed Council see a value in working with young people. They are the future and they are the ones who will be faced with difficult implications caused by generations before them. The way a person views their surrounding environment and interacts with it is huge when considering our individual impact. If someone develops a connection with these precious natural areas early on, sees a value in our natural resources and the life it sustains, and understands that by being a steward of the land just how much of a difference they can make…well, we all would be better off, wouldn’t we? So, remember to be curious. Remember to take some time to just be in nature. Step outside your home. No cellphones, no email, no computer screens. Admire the natural beauty that surrounds you, no matter the type of environment you live in. From city building gardens to backcountry trails, nature is everywhere. And when we see beauty in nature and recognize our connection with it, we will all take responsibility for it.