Monday, July 17, 2006

Visit a Nature Conservancy Project, Wherever You Travel

No, you won't find any alligators on Idaho preserves, but you never know what you might find on your travels to Nature Conservancy projects.

On a recent trip to Louisiana, my mom, dad, wife and I had the chance to visit the Pearl River and Honey Island Swamp. It was a great thrill when our boat pulled into a Nature Conservancy project--the Louisiana Chapter's White Kitchen Preserve.

The Conservancy's work in this area is preserving cypress tupelo wetlands and provides habitat for egrets, herons, raptors, turtles, and of course, alligators. The preserve is used by a number of guide services taking tourists to see the natural beauty of the area:

Wherever you travel, consider a visit to a Nature Conservancy project as part of your visit. Chapter web sites for each state can help you plan your trip. You may find yourself watching cranes near Yellowstone, standing amongst the bison on the tallgrass prairie or counting birds in Arizona.

For an even more in depth view of The Nature Conservancy's projects, the Oregon Chapter's Natural History Excursions offer unique outdoor vacations ranging from birding in Oregon and rafting in Idaho to exploring the Amazon by riverboat and viewing polar bears and musk ox in Greenland.

Several preserves offer lodging on their grounds, and The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Journeys offers itineraries to a number of destinations each year, with upcoming trips to Maine, Alaska, Manitoba and Brazil.

Visiting preserves shows the tremendous success of the Conservancy's work around the world. The next time you plan a trip, include a visit to a conservation project--and see how your investment is paying off.--Matt Miller, blog editor

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