As an organization, we talk frequently about our mission to protect and restore Central Michigan’s land, water, and wildlife resources to improve the quality of life for all. It is well and good that we talk about this mission, it keeps us grounded to our task, but there is another statement that is of equal or even greater importance – our vision. We see a world where communities are enriched by being connected to land, water, and wildlife resources. There are three words in that statement that I want to put extra emphasis on.
Communities – The local communities do not exist to serve the interests of the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy; we exist as an organization for the benefit of the community. We are a part of that community. We want to see it succeed and grow. We want Central Michigan to be a place where people want to live. Also, we could not exist as an organization without the support of members of the local communities that we serve. For that support, we can only say thank you.
Enriched – The lives of people in Central Michigan should be enriched by the presence of the CWC. If we do not better our community, we are not doing our job as an organization. The natural spaces that we protect offer people in our communities the means to connect and recharge through nature. The educational and social events that we host provide opportunities to learn and explore. For people that may be fearful of exploring on their own, these events provide an avenue to build their confidence to explore new spaces or a chance to make new friends with whom to explore.
Connected – Our hope is that everyone who visits one of our properties feels connected to that place. Whether that is spying of a bald eagle, glimpsing the delicate beauty of a trillium, hearing the slap of a beaver’s tail or the rustle of leaves, or being encompassed in the chilly silence of falling snow, every single trip that we take to a CWC preserve brings us closer to nature. We are not separate from nature, but a part of it.
A favorite quote of our Executive Director comes from Jacques Cousteau: People protect what they love, they love what they understand, and they understand what they are taught. A child that grows up connected to the land, water, and wildlife of Central Michigan will be more inclined to become its guardian when they grow to adulthood.
So what does this have to do with you?
We want to hear your voice! How does the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy enrich your life? How do we help you feel connected? Why do you volunteer your time with us? Why do you support the CWC (financially or otherwise)? With all the other choices you could make, why us? Write a short statement of 2-3 sentences and send it to Executive Director Mike LeValley at email@example.com. We’ll compile your thoughts and begin sharing them in 2020.