(Re)Connecting Wild

The woodland sunflower in full bloom. Look closely and you’ll see a native bee (family Halictidae).

I promised I’d share some inspiring stories from NACCB2020, so this week I’m embedding the short film (Re)Connecting Wild from NineCaribou Productions. (Re)Connecting Wild documents the efforts of the Nevada Department of Transportation and partners to re-connect an historic mule deer migration route. Projects like these protect wildlife as well as human life and property, resulting in a win-win for everyone.

The 12-minute film begins with some brief footage of the dangers deer encounter while trying to cross open highways. This could be sensitive content for some people, so please be aware when you start viewing. Overall, though, it is an inspiring tale and a fine example of the good that can come when humans work with wildlife toward a common purpose. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Yesterday, I went for a walk through Tomahawk Creek Park, one of the greenways of the KC Metro. The trail is embedded in a highly urban environment, but the forest is lovely and the sunflowers are in full bloom. I’ve always needed wild and semi-wild spaces, but right now, in a time of Covid19, I truly don’t know what I’d do without our city parks.

Urban woodlands along the Tomahawk Creek Trail. Leawood, KS.

Reflecting on this and on (Re)Connecting Wild, I realized that we, too, need routes where we can move as an integrated part of the landscape. Not in cars on the grid of city streets, but with our feet, marking the contour of the land as our senses map the multi-dimensional fabric we call nature.

The documentary also spoke to me metaphorically: the mule deer required safe passage across dangerous terrain. Isn’t this what we all need right now? Their lives were saved by people willing to work together toward creative solutions, to see an old problem in a new way. They solved an important problem by making a single transformative change. I hope we can do the same for ourselves, before it’s too late.

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