I’ve always considered myself a city girl. Maybe it was religiously watching cheesy rom-coms like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and 13 Going on 30 growing up, but after I walk across that stage with my diploma next May, my dream has always been to move to a bustling concrete jungle and work for a magazine.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the great outdoors. In high school, I went on numerous camping trips in the summer with my cross-country teammates. My best friend and I always take a hiking trip to Turkey Run State Park every summer. And when I visited New York City for the first time this past May, the city of all cities, one of the things I loved the most was the beautiful, green parks that seemed to pop up in the most unlikely places.
I don’t think, though, I was ever truly blown away by the power of nature until this past summer when I got the chance to visit Grand Canyon National Park. Sure, I’ve seen lots of photographs of the Grand Canyon over the years, but seeing this vast area of red rocks, formed over millions of years, really did take my breath away. (And I promise it wasn’t just because it was over 100 degrees out.) As I stood there, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that some individuals may never get to experience the beauty of the Grand Canyon, among other national parks.
Most can agree that there is something peaceful about being in the great outdoors; some have even started to use it as a form of therapy. But when it comes to our environment, it is changing––and it’s not just our climate. For example, natural disasters, such as Hurricane Florence that hit the U.S. this month and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, are increasing and leaving behind disastrous situations. While many of these changes are negative, we shouldn’t lose sight of the positive changes individuals are making in our world. For example, zoos have evolved into centers of conservation and education. And many are taking the effort to preserve our environment for the next generations, such as a group of Ball State students who have worked to clean up brownfields in Delaware County.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is how our environment interacts with us on a daily basis. So while I will hopefully be a city dweller at this time next year, I’ll always appreciate the beauty of nature.
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