This past weekend (April 4), I found I was selected to receive Paddle Florida‘s 2021 Environmental Leadership award. Covid has highlighted the deepfelt need so many of us have had to spend time in nature and it has also shown what a communal experience it is to be outdoors. I am encouraged by the people stepping foot on trails this year, and those pivoting their time to be beneath the shade of a tree. Many environmental organizations and causes, however, are struggling to be cared about in today’s world, and we see that the repercussions of continued ecological carelessness bite a little harder with covid. I am deeply thankful for the relationship I have had with Paddle Florida and for seeing them inspire people to explore our state’s waters and to consider what it means to be stewards of them. My own path the past year has had mountains to climb and headwinds to push against, and I am humbly grateful for protected corridors and wild areas where I could find sanctuary. As your thoughts turn to summer picnics and difficult trails, spend some time (and some money) on the organizations making sure all that we love sticks around.