I miss you.
Not in the sense that you have gone away, because you haven’t.
Our supporters, members, volunteers and funders stood with us during this strange, rollercoaster year in ways we have yet to fully count.
Together we got through. And we will continue to get through as 2021 looms, with equal measures of promise and fear.
I miss you because over the years you have become my community, and I didn’t get much of you this year. We didn’t spend any time on a trail. We couldn’t chat over luke-warm coffee. There weren’t too many soakers, or mosquito bites, or cool birds, or laughs. We weren’t able to get together to applaud each other for pulling yet another conservation rabbit out of our collective hat.
That sense of community might be the secret sauce of our Conservancy. It certainly sustained us through these dark months, even when we couldn’t be together. But like the natural spaces we’re trying so hard to protect, maybe a taste of what it’s like to live without it makes us appreciate its value all the more.
Our collective work over the years in building a strong, sustainable organization paid off in 2020, and we were able to advance our goal of accelerating land protection over the next five years and beyond.
We created three new nature reserves and a fourth one is on the way in the Black River Wildlands Corridor. With our friends at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are close to bringing in the last dollars needed to secure the Cedarhurst Alvar in the heart of the Carden Alvar.
My staff colleagues did cartwheels to adapt our operations and programming as the pandemic swelled, ebbed and swelled again. The Carden Challenge was reinvented overnight, bringing in more than twice the normal amount and saving us from the disappointments of so many other cancellations. The Citizen Science Program training was re-imagined and our volunteers quietly moved through the landscape to complete crucial stewardship work as safely as possible.
With every possibility of disaster, you made 2020 a triumph.
As a Christmas unlike any other approaches, I will be counting my blessings. And I will be counting you among them.
On behalf of our whole team, I offer our gratitude and wish you peace and good health over the holiday season.
Until we meet again.