The ERSI Story Maps team has made a story map explaining all the different publicly regulated lands in the United States called The Lands We Share: America's Protected Area. It made me think about the importance of these natural spaces and how they can enrich the lives of those who actively participate and engage with their landscapes.
I love the outdoors and have enjoyed hiking since I was little. I've enjoyed hikes in Frontenac Provincial Park and along the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland. In the United States I've hiked at Watkins Glen State Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park in the Finger Lakes region on New York. I also love spending time on the water and one of my favourite activities is to go kayaking at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.
For me, interacting with nature brings me a sense of peace and I find it a good place to reflect. Often, especially when I am kayaking, I am reminded of the powerful forces that are the wind and water and I can marvel in how we have harnessed them and manipulated them for our own needs. There is no doubt in my mind that in the future I will visit many more wonderful and parks that teach me to be more appreciative of the Earth we have been blessed with.