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Dear grandchild,

I grew up in a town of only 35 other people. It was small and I always felt cramped by the closeness – and often resented the people around me for loving how tight it felt. I always saw my hometown as suffocating and limiting. I knew that dreams lived and died in towns like this one and was destined to leave before Small Town USA squandered my fiery ambition. But as I grew up, I fell in love with the quaint quietness of living in the middle of nowhere. There is something special about being neighbors with the wild – it feels like you are inside the heart of the Earth. That nothing in this world could ever destroy the quiet hum of biodiversity around you. It was in this small town that I forged a passion for our Earth – a wild desire to devote my life to protecting its depth and width. I would run into the forest cover during the summer and not arrive back until dinner time – too busy forging a new path or building a castle from sticks and leaves.

But the world is changing. There are fewer little ones running into the forest to play make believe. Children no longer hold the Earth in the palm of their hand and promise it devotion and servitude. Now, everyone is too busy exploiting the Earth to see how its beauty is crumbling before our eyes. Climate change- something I know you have heard much about – is beginning to peak its head behind the thin veil of ignorance. I see the trickle down effect of its impact but the world hasn’t yet.

We borrow the Earth from our children, not inherit it from our ancestors. My hopes for the future is that your generation sees what mine doesn’t – that we cannot stop things after it is too late. I hope that we find our love for this Earth again and relish in its beauty once more. I hope we talk and act in a way that keeps this planet and everyone on it healthy, happy and safe – because right now, there isn’t a lot of that going around.

I promise to share my love for the environment with you and forge a passion for protecting it inside you. I promise to talk about our planet in a way that always shows it love and safety. I promise to show the nooks and crannies of the world and foster an understanding in you that we are our planets greatest protectors. I promise this and more.

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