Setting your conservation resolution
As 2018 draws to a close, most of us are looking forward to the exciting adventures, opportunities, and promises of a new year. Maybe you’re starting to dream up your new healthy living resolution, your re-energized dedication to volunteering, your commitment to actually drinking enough water every day. As we set our New Year’s Resolutions for a brighter 2019, maybe you want to do things a little differently this year. For each personal resolution you set, try setting one of these conservation resolutions for nature!
1. Get a little muddy outside each week
One of the best things you can do for nature is experience it! Grab an old pair of muckers and explore a local wetland with your family, lace up your hiking boots for a longer-than-usual trek on a New Brunswick trail, or join CPAWS-NB or another environmental group for an outdoor event. Get started by trying these 10 outdoor activities this winter and remember to be kind to nature, leaving plants and animals in their habitats and no trace that you were there.
2. Protect your backyard ecosystem
Whether it’s your actual backyard, a local park, or a nearby trail, be an environmental champion this year and protect the natural areas around you. Make your backyard wildlife-friendly by avoiding herbicides and pesticides, leaving bird fledglings or other babies where you find them, and leaving natural food and water sources in place. Consider planting a pollinator garden this year, full of native New Brunswick flowers or even leave some of those weedy plants this spring as wildlife awakens from the chill of winter.
3. Learn about local conservation science
New Brunswick is fortunate to be home to some amazing wildlife and ecosystem scientists, and a lot of excellent research that guides conservation in forests, rivers, and oceans. This year, make an effort to visit one of the province’s universities for a public talk, stop by a scientific conference poster session, or get involved with citizen science opportunities in your neighbourhood. Don’t forget about CPAWS-NB’s new “Tuesday Talks” speaker series showcasing conservation science and action in our province!
4. Visit New Brunswick’s coast
Sometimes those of us living in inland New Brunswick forget that our province has coasts on three sides! With groups like CPAWS-NB working hard to see the creation of new protected areas in our coastal and marine environments, we need the voices of New Brunswickers like you to tell political leaders that these ecosystems are important to you. And what better way to share that message than with personal stories about our amazing coastal areas? This year, challenge yourself to visit coastal communities in northern, eastern, and southern New Brunswick to stroll along a beach, hike a coastal trail, get out on the water, and enjoy the fruits of local fisheries. Then share your story with us, so we can inspire more nature protection!
5. Write a monthly letter to decision-makers
One of the most important actions we can take as concerned and engaged citizens is to tell our local decision-makers and political leaders that nature is important to us. This year resolve to write one letter each month to a decision-maker advocating for conservation in the province. Choose different leaders, issues, or regions each month, or continually advocate for change in the area most important to you. Take this resolution a step forward by encouraging 5 friends or family members to write letters with you each month! CPAWS NB would be happy to help you organize a letter-writing party.
6. Support a conservation organization
The conservation organizations in New Brunswick are almost all non-profits and rely each year on the charitable donations of citizens to continue working toward our shared conservation goals. This year consider making a one-time or regular donation to a conservation organization. A strategy for taking on this resolution is to give up one personal expense per month and instead choose to donate that value to an organization of your choice! Donations to CPAWS-NB can be made online, here.
7. Visit a provincial park each month
New Brunswick is home to nine provincial parks scattered from north to south and east to west, in addition to two national parks and one international park! Make it your goal this year to visit a park each month, perhaps the same favourite or go a step further and aim to visit each of the 12 parks in 2019. Bring your friends and family with you to share in the experience and enjoy the beautiful nature of New Brunswick! Learn more about the provincial parks here.
As 2019 fast approaches and we all start to envision the year ahead, make it your goal to reconnect with the amazing nature of New Brunswick over the next 12 months. Set your conservation resolution today and encourage your friends and families to do the same! Follow CPAWS-NB on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date with conservation news and events this year.
From the CPAWS-NB staff, board, and volunteers, we wish you all a happy, healthy, and nature-filled new year!
Header Photo by Justin Dutcher, Dutch Elms Studios
Julie Reimer is a PhD student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Board Member of CPAWS-NB. Having worked in the whale watching industry in New Brunswick and conducted her Master’s research on conservation planning for the North Atlantic right whale, Julie is an advocate for MPAs in New Brunswick. Julie’s current research attempts to see the “bigger picture” of conservation, reaching beyond protected areas to understand the synergies between conservation actions and ocean industries. To connect with Julie, visit http://juliereimer.wixsite.com/hello.