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Every year the Conservation District organizes education days at all the local schools. We bring in the Game Commission, beekeepers, maple producers, farmers and the like. We also do a station or two ourselves. Luckily, I often get to run one of the stations. It is the most fun I have all year. I love educating young people. I tweak my topic each time I do it, but the most basic stuff is always there.  I try to bring it “home” for them. I would like to ask all of you the same thing I ask them, and really try to bring it “home” to you. What are the four things that we absolutely, positively must have to survive day in and day out?

The younger kids usually get close to the right answers.  I am sure there are some older folks that think cell phone, Internet, cable TV and a car. You know the good stuff. My, how some of us have become “removed” from the important things that we absolutely MUST have.

Have you guessed any of the four things yet?

Most people want to jump right to food, shelter, and the like. Yes, we need those. But I am thinking more basic than that. What do we need to get us THOSE things?

Water and air are usually the easy ones.

For some reason we like to forget about the sun.

And soil, well that is an afterthought.

However, we do need it. We call the interaction of these four things photosynthesis. 

Now, we all hear about clean water and clean air. They are important, but when is the last time you heard about how important the sun and soil are? Let’s face it, it is pretty hard to get excited about soil. However, without it, we have nothing. No food, no shelter, no filter for our water supply, and (it used to be) no clothing. Now we have some synthetic clothing that can circumvent the system, but these four things should be held with utmost priority in life.

I have mentioned this before, but what must we do to sustain, and even help raise the quality of life? 

We need to take advantage of as much photosynthesis as we can. Some reasons are easy to understand. We need it to grow food, shelter and clothing. However, taking advantage of photosynthesis also helps us with cleaner water and cleaner air – the two things we do hear so much about.  

How do we do this? Grow things. Anything. All the time.  

Soil is not meant to be bare. That creates erosion. It is also detrimental to all life forms that live in it. Growing plants also use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Wow!  Talk about a perfect partner.  

We hear a lot about carbon sequestration. Getting carbon out of the air and back into the ground where it should be.  here is no downside to living, growing plants.  Think about a rain forest compared to a desert. Think about the difference in LIFE in those two places. I have heard mention that 75% of all living species are found in rain forests. That is an astronomical amount. Why are they there? LIFE, generated by an abundance of rain, sun, soil and air.

I have heard it said that, “humans are the only living thing that likes to see things well kept.”How diverse is your front lawn compared to a rain forest? Welcome in LIFE.

The Bradford County Conservation District is committed to helping people manage resources wisely.  You can visit the Bradford County Conservation District at 200 Lake Rd in Wysox across from the Wysox Fire Hall. Contact us at (570) 485-3144 or visit our web page at www.bccdpa.com.