When Earth Day began in 1970, it marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Almost a half century later, the stakes have never been higher, and the challenges more daunting.
While progress has been made in making our planet a cleaner place, that progress has slowed, the impacts of climate change have grown and the opposition to that progress is more formidable.
Our coastal communities are already increasingly battered by severe storms and threatened by sea level rise that could wipe out homes and the businesses so vital to the North Shore. Inland, the maple and birch forests which give us our signature fall colors may give way to less vibrant oak and hickory trees.
At Greenbelt, we think of every day as earth day and are increasingly strategic as climate change now shapes our approach to land conservation. This Earth Day we are hoping you will make a special gift to help support our land conservation efforts.
While traditional land conservation projects were prioritized on their size and location, sophisticated mapping technology now allows Greenbelt to strategically identify and then focus on conservation projects best suited for their resiliency to climate change.
New England BioLabs has generously agreed to match the first $5,000 in donations toward our efforts.
“While we continue working to protect our best farmland and scenic resources, we are keenly aware of the changes already happening as a result of climate change. Land conservation is a critical tool as we look to a future that may be quite different from what we’re accustomed to,” said Christopher LaPointe, Greenbelt Director of Land Conservation.
New Englanders need resilient landscapes to filter water for drinking and for recreation. In protecting forests and grasslands, more carbon emissions are absorbed from the atmosphere.
A single mature leafy tree can produce as much oxygen each year as 10 people inhale. A healthy salt marsh protects our coastal communities by absorbing flood waters and lessening storm surge.
And increasingly, the benefits of outdoor activity are recognized for public health benefits.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead famously said that we should “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Greenbelt’s local conservation efforts are a real way to effect change in our communities, and we are so grateful for your support. To date, Greenbelt has conserved more than 17,500 acres, all of which are permanently protected, a lasting legacy in Essex County.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.