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Holiday Reflections From Local Environmentalists | News

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Holiday Reflections From Local Environmentalists

Buffalo, N.Y. -- Winter in Western New York can be a two headed beast; harsh and unyielding one day, beautiful and serene the next.

During the holidays, a glittering veil of white can transform the landscape into an embodiment of the true meaning of the holiday; a time for reflection, to look back upon the fading year and take stock of what has been, and to look forward to the year to come.For those who devote their lives to the environment, winter often takes on a much deeper meaning.

Sandy Geffner of Earth Spirit Educational Services gave us her interpretation.

"Winter -- it's the quiet time. It's the time to reflect, it's the time for introspection. It always has been for peoples connected to nature, connected to the outdoors."

Joel Thomas of the SPCA also shared his thoughts.

"Everyone that's interested in wildlife likes this time of year, people who are true outdoor people, because the landscape takes on a different look. The snow, wildlife looks different in the snow -- who doesn't like to see White Tail Deer in the snow?"

Tanya Lowe from Hawk Creek Wildlife Center said, "As we see the snow, it does remind us of the season, and what it's all about -- giving back, and being with friends and family."

These, then, are some of the planet's sentinels, and they have much to be grateful for. As caregivers and educators, they touch many lives, both human and animal. They give selflessly, and in return receive gifts of the spirit that last long beyond the season.

"Every day we see smiles," Geffner said. "Every day we see kids, little ones, big ones, grown ups, enjoying the out of doors, enjoying the time with us Earth Spirit people, and that's reward enough."

Lowe adds, "To be able to see the animals that we're able to provide a home for, and you see them safe and content, well fed and sheltered, you do kind of get that holiday spirit of things are going OK, things are going good, and we're able to make a difference."

There is no rest, however, for those who care for the planet. With threats looming on many sides, these stewards must always keep an eye to the future.

Thomas hopes lessons have been learned.

"We've had some outdoor tragedies; the Gulf oil spill and things like that, and I would hope that the people that worked on those situations learned a few things," he said.

Lowe echoed his sentiments.

"As we're able to meet more people, we're able to continue moving forward," Lowe said. "Letting people know about the environment, about the wonderful animals we share the planet with, and how we can make these better decisions, and as we do that, hopefully people will be able to make those better decisions."

Geffner shared her recipe for a sound life.

"To live every day like it was Christmas, to live every day like it was Earth Day," she said. "Then you've got a person with good heart, good intention, and that will only lead to a good life."



















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