By Colleen Hook
There is a great thoughtful insight about the environment as follows: We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. The author is unknown! Some say it is a Native American Proverb. The saying has been used by many leaders in the environmental movement and encapsulates the wisdom of previous centuries.
I recently asked Bob Simpson for his favorite proverb, and he mentioned the above saying. Bob Simpson has just been named the 2014 Conservation Hero in the Rio Grande Valley by the Advisory Board at Quinta Mazatlan. Mr. Simpson will be recognized at the annual celebratory fundraiser, Moon over Mazatlan, on the evening of March 20th, 2014, tickets are available now at 956-681-3370. Bob is an exceptional conservationist working with many organizations to preserve and enhance our remaining native habitat. A partner in the firm of Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects, Bob’s leadership has benefited many organizations including Quinta Mazatlan, Valley Land Fund, First Presbyterian Church, Museum of South Texas History, McAllen South Rotary, Coastal Conservation Association of Texas, McAllen Chamber of Commerce and more. Bob is such a humble and quiet giver, and tirelessly gives to so many.
At Quinta Mazatlan, Bob is helping to design “Ebony Grove” on a four acre tract of land. With the support of community individuals and businesses, our plans include the reforestation of the land, palapas, a wildlife pond, trails and interpretive signage. This year’s Moon over Mazatlan fundraiser will go towards the creation of a large wildlife pond at Ebony Grove.
The wisdom of the saying is so evident today. Not only have we borrowed the land from our children, but we are also giving them little opportunity to enjoy it. Sadly in the last two decades, children have moved indoors. The average child spends as few as 30 minutes outdoors each day, and more than seven hours indoors each day in front of some size electronic screen. Our children are missing something essential to their health, development, happiness and heritage: their connection to the natural world.
What our Valley Conservation Heroes have in common, like Bob Simpson (2014) and Jane Kittleman (2013), is that they enjoy outdoor hobbies such as bird watching, wildlife photography, fishing and more. They love the great outdoors and thus work to protect and enhance it. I have had the privilege of learning from Bob and Jane and I can say nature makes one nicer, enhances social interactions, value for the community and creates close relationships.
Quinta Mazatlan works to enrich people’s lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants and stewardship of South Texas. The nature center recently calculated how many hours children spent in outdoor programs at Quinta Mazatlan this past year. We calculated over 6,200 kids participated in outdoor science driven programs– OVER 20,000 HOURS OF KIDS- IN-NATURE.
Let’s work to keep growing the number of KID-IN-NATURE HOURS!
Invest in creating natural parks for children and adults to enjoy in the city! It is our responsibility to return the land better than we found it, as well as teach the next generation the value of the land and the experiences it provides! The time to act is now!
You can learn more about Moon Over Mazatlan here. The RSVP/Sponsorship form is here. We hope to see you all out for this special event!