Hope is the thing with feathers

This line from Emily Dickinson, reflects the motivation behind restoration ecology. We are in the midst of what some call Earth’s sixth mass extinction. On the one hand Homo sapiens is the problem. On the other… we are also the solution. This is a huge opportunity for positive change. Just as depleted prairies and forests can be restored, so too our own backyards can become sanctuaries for life. Thoreau suggested that in wildness is the preservation of the world. In our backyard landscape wildness depends on native trees, shrubs, and flowers. The more we preserve and restore native habitats, the more we create hope for our fellow critters, and hence, for ourselves…

Dale Goodner was a Naturalist at the Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary before moving to Peoria, IL, where he worked for Peoria Park District. He served as Chief Naturalist at Forest Park Nature Center, then became Supervisor of Environmental and Interpretive Services. He and his wife, Mary (both alumni of UWGB), returned home to northeast Wisconsin upon retirement and now live in Algoma.

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