All of us at Five Valleys remain humbled and in awe at the overwhelming outpouring of support that our community showed at our recent banquet. I’ve never been prouder to have my own mom in the room to understand where much of my time goes and why I don’t call home as much as I should. As many of you who joined us learned, the way she raised my brother and I is very much part of why I do this work.
Being a single, working parent of two young boys should have provided ample lessons my brother and I, but my mom realized her boys also needed time outside for any lessons to really stick. So, she dragged us up long hikes on the edge of town where we learned that finishing what we started offered special rewards like a remarkable sunset or a beautiful view that stretched to the horizon.
My mom got us back to the family farm a couple of times each year and made sure we understood where food came from and how much work it took to produce it. She also made a point of getting us outside to sleep under the stars where we learned how lucky we are to be alive on this tiny planet and learned how to put our own problems in perspective.
Each of these lessons was priceless. And, importantly for a single mom of two kids, each was more or less free. We didn’t have a lot in my early years growing up, but we had access to rich experiences outside. Those experiences, and the lessons they offer, are the things that I am so proud to be working with all of you to pass along to future generations.
This newsletter highlights just a few of the places you love that we are working to protect, to improve, or to enhance access to today. Mount Dean Stone is huge but we’re up to so much more, too. From helping beginning ranchers protect prime agricultural soils in the Missoula Valley, protecting wildlife habitat in Granite County, or developing wheelchair accessible trails at our Rock Creek Confluence Property.
As someone who supports this work I hope you’ll take pride in what you are making possible. When you’re done with this newsletter, I’d suggest you pass this along to your mom (dad, friend, or mentor). Of course, it’s no substitute for a phone call or a visit; but I’m sure they, too, would love to see what great things you are making happen in your community and in the world.
By Grant Kier, Five Valleys Land Trust Executive Director
Header photo by Five Valleys staff