Why we need to protect and preserve public lands

Imagine if there were no parks or places of natural beauty to escape to. What would that be like?

Perhaps it would be a concrete jungle or a highway filled with congested traffic, removing resting areas for migratory birds. Perhaps it would be desolate land, stripped of hundred year old trees that were once rooted there and all of its habitats. There would be no wind breezing through trees, no songs being sung by birds and no trails to explore. 

Dating back decades, before our inception, members of this community fought to defend and protect the Shaker Parklands. Not only because it was a quiet place to relax outside of a growing city, but because it was an invaluable community resource that meant something to the residents here.

Just as it did 52 years ago, this green space known as the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, means something. Decades have been filled by the tireless efforts of our founders, staff, community naturalists and volunteers to ensure that people have a place to connect with nature, and that wildlife has a place to call home.

According to a national 2016 study, 93 percent of participants of the survey said it’s important to protect trails, parks, open spaces and historical sites for future generations. It can be said that most of us are in agreement that place matters. These natural lands can transform lives, providing memorable outdoor experiences and improving our health and well-being.

The nation will celebrate Public Lands Day on September 22. It’s the country’s largest single-day volunteer effort to clean up and restore public lands. We invite you to join us on Saturday, September 29 with the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership and members of our community who want to make a difference, in celebrating Public Lands Day. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help restore and maintain this space alongside our Natural Resources Specialist.

Volunteers must register online at shakerlakes.org/volunteer.