IT'S OUR WILD NATURE - Help us keep the Hinkson Valley wild!
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Editorial in Columbia Daily Tribune

BARBARA WREN and SUTU FORTE | Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 2:00 pm
Imagine with us.
Imagine 35 acres of beautiful primitive land in the heart of a city. Imagine escaping the pavement and stoplights, cars and crowds, finding respite in a peaceful forest teeming with wildlife. Imagine the Hinkson Valley Nature Sanctuary with us. The organization It's Our Wild Nature is dedicated to conserving 35 gorgeous, precious wild acres in the heart of Columbia.
A vital part of living is connecting with the Earth. By conserving this land, we will provide a unique and wonderful space in which people will be immersed in a primitive natural environment. Walking on a natural-grass path, they will connect with the energy of Earth. At the same time, we will conserve a piece of land that has been largely untouched for decades and help keep an important impaired watershed from being further polluted by development. We want to save the forest. Our spirits need these places.
"Each town should have … a primitive forest … where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation," Henry David Thoreau wrote in an Oct. 15, 1859 journal entry.
Writing in his classic book, "Walden," about the ties between people and nature, he says, "Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it." And, he adds, "We need the tonic of wildness."
Wouldn't you like to take your kids to a wild space where nature will let them find their inner creature? A fairy forest of May apples, and wolf trees where bats roost? A wildflower meadow where turtles sun, and deer run, and butterflies meander? It's our wild nature. There, bare feet connect with the energy of Mother Earth on paths of moss and grass. We know where it is, and we want to save it for all.
Forty years ago, as students overwhelmed with the concrete and constant churning of humanity on campus, we found this soothing, shady, quiet, peaceful sanctuary with only the sounds of nature. Thirty-five years later we realized this common bond and have since encountered hundreds of others who have found this enchanted haven to soothe their souls.
This land is a sanctuary in the heart of the city perfect for education, conservation and escaping the harshness, pace and noise of our paved environment. It is a place that buffers noise, filters pollution, absorbs floodwaters and rejuvenates people and nature.
It's Our Wild Nature is a group of citizens committed to preserving the vision of Thoreau by facilitating the transfer of ownership and protection of this land to a trust to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility to be used for education, conservation and meditation. This land is for sale and must be protected from housing or other development. Why does every place on Earth have to be developed? There needs to be places for turtles and birds and foxes and bats and wanderers and ponderers. A place where the road ends and you get off your bikes and out of your cars. A place to breathe and feel!
Our dream is to create the Hinkson Valley Nature Sanctuary and Outdoor Classroom to educate and inspire.
From 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at 627 Bluff Dale Drive, on the bank of the Hinkson Creek, It's Our Wild Nature will present "A Call for the Wild, a Celebration of Columbia's Wild Spaces," a musical by Forté & Roe, along with guests Bill Clark, Jeff Barrow, Debbie D'Agostino and Myron Neuffer, complete with a wild-animal call contest (rain date is May 4.)
Bring a blanket or chair and join us to make the Hinkson Valley Nature Sanctuary and Outdoor Classroom happen now and for future generations.

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