This #GivingTuesday, please consider supporting the land conservation mission of North Branch Land Trust.

North Branch Land Trust (NBLT) works in partnership with landowners and their communities to conserve the natural, working, and scenic landscapes in Northeastern Pennsylvania that sustain us. Last Friday, an eight-year-old told me she had found a turtle in her front yard. I said "Great! You know what that turtle told me? She said she just found a little girl in HER front yard!"

Although the statement above is our "official" mission, sometimes I think a better statement of North Branch Land Trust's mission would be: "Protecting places for turtles and little girls to meet each other!" NBLT has conserved and protected more than 18,000 acres in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Places where turtles and little girls can discover each other. Places to keep nature part of our lives.

In his book, "Last Child in the Woods", Richard Louv states "If a child never sees the stars, never has meaningful encounters with other species, never experiences the richness of nature, what happens to that child?" North Branch Land Trust conserves open space land in an industrial region with widespread, rampant, development in the suburbs. As human beings, our lives and those of our children are enriched by Mother Nature's beauty and open space. Conserving precious land, habitat, and the watersheds of Northeastern Pennsylvania is imperative for our well being.

Jane Goodall states that "Conservation has to become an absolute priority, because if we lose nature, that's the end of us. We can't live without it." Having a balanced amount of natural land for habitat protection, land for recreation, land for agriculture, land for living on, and land for business development, makes for a healthy and vibrant community for both humans and wildlife. The need to balance development with conserved open space is essential. Our quality-of-life and that of our animal neighbors is tied to quality of our landscapes; open space keeps our air and water clean, and our farms and forests healthy.

This story opened with a little girl and turtle discovering each other. I'm sure you have stories to tell about your own childhood experiences in nature! Experiences that have shaped how you view the natural world around you. Who will be our conservation leaders in the future? The kids today who we connect with nature. The kids who will have their own stories to tell. How can we ensure that little girls and turtles have a chance to meet in the future? Be a part of that answer! Be a part of that tomorrow! Together, we can ensure a legacy for our children. The children we teach today are the future of our planet. With your support of land conservation, their skies will be filled with birdsong and their woods filled with creatures great and small. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

We hope a gift to North Branch Land Trust to help us continue to conserve our precious land and thereby provide open space for little girls and turtles will be a part of your #GivingTuesday plan. Thank you for your consideration.