James Pinsky: Thank you for allowing me to share passion about natural resources

James Pinsky

I have started, erased and restarted this week’s column about a hundred times.

I wanted to channel something clever, but for what I need to say, simply being sincere is the only appropriate choice. So, here it goes:

Thank you.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to speak to you week after week through the conservation column.

Thank you for every email, phone call, letter and card with kind words of encouragement, support and advice, which I always took to heart. I’d especially like to thank the Northern Virginia Daily, and our staff and my Board of Directors here at the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District for helping me identify, research and publish a year’s worth of columns.

Sometimes I chose science to reach you. Other times, I tried to sway you by getting you to laugh and smile, and sometimes, yes – even cry. Often, the words you read poured out from my heart with ease. Other times, I struggled to find my voice. I always found it though, and what I learned was sometimes I helped you find your voice as well. It is that thought, knowing I have helped others speak loudly, clearly and passionately that mean the most to me. It is humbling, to say the very least.

There were several emails from you that not only made me smile, but genuinely caused me pause as I reflected upon the greatest of our community, our collective passions, kindness and comradery. Your praise and encouragement will always be the very best reward I could ever get.

Our efforts have paid off. Together, we have reached new audiences, reinforced valid, meaningful natural resource management messages and, yes, we earned a few awards for the conservation column.

This past Wednesday I was presented the coveted June Sekoll Media Award from the Virginia Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and later this month I will again be honored, this time by the Virginia Farm Bureau.

Thank you for giving me this honor. I share it with all of you.

The conservation column allowed me to communicate the message that Virginia’s conservation of natural resources is not just necessary, but both impactful and comprehensive. Together we addressed key issues such as soil management, non-point source pollution, TMDL’s, E Coli eradication, the use of cover crops, forestry, youth mentorship, the Right To Farm Act, the Farm to Table Conference, natural resource sustainability, rotational grazing, conservation leadership, the National Association of Conservation District’s Hall of Fame, recreational use of soil and water, storm water management, Envirothon, fertilizer use, urban conservation, the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program, International Year of the Oceans, the Clean Water Act, the role of hunters as conservationists, littering, SL-6 fence management, community engagement, and the impact of natural resource management on local, state and federal economies.

To all of you, who read this column, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to earn your trust and share our passion for our natural resources.

I look forward to writing more columns for our community.

James Pinsky is the education and information coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. Contact him at 540-465-2424 ext. 104 or james.pinsky@lfswcd.org.