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A Letter to the Community on Coronavirus

Spring pond with Kona the dog

I sit in my living room, sun streams in the glass slider. A blue bird, proud in his full spring color, is visiting the deck railing between trips to the garden grabbing straw for his nest. I am welcoming the annual visitation of migratory diver ducks and hooded mergansers arrived on the freshly thawed and opened up Tully Pond. It is hard to believe, on such a gorgeous early spring day, that anything could be wrong with the world. And yet it is.

A new virus has infiltrated the perceived safety of our community, driving us to hoard the necessities and into “social isolation.” None of us can guess the trajectory, or ultimate consequences, of this newest threat to our society and sanity. However, we do have important choices in front of us. In the face of this unknown, are we going to be our best selves, or our worst? How can we come together as a community, even as we are asked to socially distance ourselves? How can we choose not to hoard, but to share our scant resources? What can we do to care for the most vulnerable in their need? Can we send warm emails to the lonely and quarantined? Can we have virtual “dates” for drinks with friends toasting over the internet instead of in person? This is a time for us to come together, even as we separate.

At Mount Grace, we have made the hard decision to work remotely, close the office to visitors, and to postpone our March and April events. We will be exploring what innovative, web-based events we can plan and redesign to keep our community active and together. In the meantime, our conservation work continues. We will not pause in our mission of saving land acre by acre. It brings me so much pleasure and peace to know that Mount Grace continues to protect our fresh air, clean water, and local food system, each of which is clearly now more essential than ever.

Our trails are open! They require no human contact or exchange of cash. I have given myself the challenge to explore more Mount Grace properties for daily walks as the dogs and I need the fresh air.

Join me, with a walk in our shared back yards. Our website has free maps of Mount Grace properties. Send photos to landtrust@ mountgrace.org if you are so inspired.

Warmly,

Emma
Emma Ellsworth, Deputy Director
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust