I have water in my veins, a common thread, starting from when I was a young girl growing up on the shores of Wild Fowl Bay, off of Lake Huron’s thumb of Michigan. It was a great place to explore woodlands, wetlands, fishing, sailing and swimming.
You could not keep me out of the water then and it continually pulls be back now. As an adult, I am constantly being pulled back to the need for water, sort of a “Fish out of Water.”
I have lived in a suburb of Illinois, not far from Chicago and the Wisconsin state line, for most of my adult life. I always did a little fishing and introduced myself to fly fishing in a small pond, but never did any trout fishing in a stream until the spring of 2014.
I recently attended a Fly Fishing Clinic for Women in the Driftless area of Wisconsin where I was told I was a true “Fishy.”
Studying the water, weather, fish food, type of fish we are going after are all part of the experience, along with how it makes you feel.
It has been sometime since I have been back to my childhood home, but I am still driven to water.
I am talking about what every living thing needs – clean, healthy water – “The Common Thread.”
As a Volunteer Steward restoring Prairies, Savannas, Woodlands and Wetlands in Illinois, as well as working in the landscape industry for many years, I have an interest in native landscapes.
I was introduced to the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES V2) which is like LEED Building standards, but for the landscape industry. Many of the values have a common thread – Ecosystem Services.
“Ecosystems are ecological life support systems. Healthy ecosystems provide a full suite of goods and services that are vital to human health and livelihoods, natural assets that are called Ecosystem Services. Many of these goods and services are traditionally viewed as free benefits to society or “public goods” - wildlife habitat and diversity, watershed services, carbon storage and scenic landscapes, for example. Lacking a formal market, these natural assets are traditionally absent from society’s balance sheet, critical contributions are often overlooked in public, corporate and individual decision-making.”
National Forestry Department
Water is one of the common threads, and in the process of keeping it, we need to look further than the stream.
We need to look at the value of the ecosystems that surround us. These are the systems that affect the water that we all need for fishing and for life. This is the greatest value in nature. If you really study it, nature has been the stimulus for all learning, exploration and innovation. We are only its humble stewards.
My feeling is the SITES v2 will set the standards for the landscape industry and that there are other industry specific initiatives that are in place setting a global standard. You can find out more about Ecosystem Services and SITES v2 on the web.
My hope is that future generations learn to be humble stewards so they will have clean healthy environments and “Water in their Veins” from which to continue learning, exploring and innovating.