There are some places on Earth where it’s hard to know what the original local habitat used to look like, what the land should look like if we weren’t here. With all of our built-up neighborhoods, networks of roads, mini-malls, shopping centers, urban and suburban landscapes, even rural farmland sprawl can hide what the land truly could be if we simply left it alone.
Today, in the United States at least, many of these untouched places are only available in protected places, our national, state, and sometimes local parks, sanctuaries for fauna and flora alike. Whether you’re at home or traveling, I implore you to find your nearest wild places.
Seek these unfettered wildernesses out and help steward them by volunteering to keep them in their pristine state, or give money to help keep them wild.
We recently visited Myakka River State Park outside of Sarasota, while on a spring break trip to see Grammy. This beautiful park is the largest state park in Florida, and you won’t regret a visit as you’ll see more alligators, up-close-and-wild, here then just about anywhere.
The waterfowl here are stunning:
You can travel by an air boat tour to view the wildlife, or gently glide through the waters in a canoe or kayak.
Or, rent bikes right there at the park and pedal along the water or oak forests to view the undeveloped wildscape.
It’s like stepping back in time to a lost world.
A wooden walkway takes you over the marshland to birdwatch from a pier that provides a vantage onto the open water and grasslands.
But perhaps most spectacular of all is the canopy walk, a chance to get up high above the trees and view the wilderness from the perspective of an egret, turkey vulture, or crow.
Here, above the treetops, you can see so far you almost see the curvature of the Earth.
Find your wild places. Define them, why they’re important to you. Help protect them. Visit them often and share them with your loved ones.
Before it’s too late.