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The author of Sick of Nature and Tarball Chronicles pushes environmentalism to the edge
Thank you so much for this article! As a biologist, environmental educator, wolf lover, and daughter who played outside with her Dad, I really appreciated everything you had to say. I too spent my childhood simply playing in nature, often alongside my Dad. He took time to teach me all he knew, but rarely about things like deforestation, invasive species, or any of the other horrors that impact our natural world. Mostly he just explored with me. At 23 years old I can honestly say that those times tagging along with my Dad in the woods or garden are what has lead me to my current career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a lifetime of loving nature. Speaking of which, that career is also what has helped foster my love of wolves. A few years ago I actually served as a Red Wolf intern at Alligator River. There I was able to track the wild wolves, care for the captive population, lead folks like yourself on howling tours, and fall asleep at night listening to the wolves howl with hooting Barred Owls. Every time I hear that someone went to a howling event or saw the wildlife on the Refuge I get a little twinge of excitement. Those creatures made some of my dreams come true and provided me with an even deeper connection to the world I found as a kid. Anyway, your article seems right on to me in saying that we need to just get kids outside and let them pretend or explore. The knowledge to steward our Earth will come later. Allowing kids to be kids and unplugging them from the digital world is the first step.