We live in a beautiful place called “Earth.” We have incredible landscapes of beautiful geographies with resources we believe are infinite. The engine of all that nature is natural communities.
Community is an important aspect of our daily lives. We rely heavily on these social associations. Some examples of communities are our families, friends, neighborhoods, schools, churches, clubs, sports, even our hobbies. In these communities we meet people we love and appreciate and strive to maintain happy, healthy relationships. The community of the world in which we live obviously needs our help. Not only do we need help to make this world a more pleasant place, but we also need to give back to Earth the resources it offers us. Our resources are trees, air and running water. In each of these resources there is community life.
One of the main resources is our trees and plants. Our trees have roots that allow them to grow so big and beautiful, and their natural composition allows them to produce oxygen, but since this is a world hungry for money, we cut down our trees to build our businesses or homes and our cities without planning for the future. They also cut them for planting and for livestock, and so little by little, human beings are destroying the forests. In some cases, we just planted trees in other places, but I wonder if this would replenish the destroyed forest. What we do with our trees is as if we ourselves were taken out of the house to make room for another “thing,” and it is no longer our home. Just as new trees must adapt to another environment and recreate the forest community, some do not thrive, and the artificial forest created by man will never again be the same forest it once was.
As I learned on my trip to college camp, there are trees that are territorial and do not allow other plants to grow around them, such as hemlocks, which are isolated, while there are other trees that allow diversity and bloom when growing with other types of trees and different types of plants. This is important to understand because, as discussed in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 15, human interaction affects nature and the environment. We are picking trees and cutting them down or planting them with trees that deteriorate their life cycle, and this is leading to the big problem of deforestation. When a tree community is destroyed, it is very difficult to re-form it. We need to protect, restore and promote sustainability for our planet to survive.
There are other species of living things that are not just humans. There are animals such as birds, ants, deer, etc. They have their own communities within our nature and depend on the same resources as we do. Just like us, animals travel in groups or alone. They have their own way of communicating and each serves a role in their community. On my nature walk, we came across a salamander. It seems that he got scared of the noises we were making and began to flee frantically. This is an example of human influence. We interrupt the salamander by distracting it from its routine and making it feel threatened. Another example of community in nature is that of fungi. We found that fungi only grow on dead or decaying trees, which is interesting. Mushrooms do not thrive in a lively community. There are many examples of communities found in terrestrial life. We have our birds flying in a certain direction, together, when there is a change of time. We affect their lives with pollution and smoke from our factories. There is underwater life that we, as humans, influence by taking creatures out of their natural habitat with activities such as fishing, littering in the water, or even swimming in their homes. We do many actions that affect life on earth, and we have to pay more attention because if we lose the earth, we lose life. We must contribute to the well-being of our forests, our land, our air, our water, and our plants. We have to return the care and love, and resources that the Earth gives us daily without discriminating against us, just because we are part of life itself and the great natural community. For this reason, we must respect the multiple communities that coexist with us humans.
Emery- Fall 2022