A sense of place starts when your feet touch the earth and your senses take in all that surrounds you. Feelings of appreciation and awe arise, shape your thoughts and inform the next steps you take. This process is part of being human. No matter your home, your work, your history, your dreams, you have developed a sense of place somewhere, sometime.
We all experience a sense of place and occasionally one place or another touches our hearts in ways that allow us to share it with others. These places engage us as humans, allow us to do work, learn, make mistakes, learn some more, live, share what we know. At the end of it all, we leave behind a place. A place with a memory and a heart. Love your place. This statement, however you read it, commands a reciprocity to the land, elements like water and people in places. Love your place shouts, “Care!”
Love Your Place came to be LYP when founders Ben, Alan and Jason wanted to share the love of place with others. They had something else in common: living their passions. Live your passion fit nicely into the very same acronym. All this said, Love Your Place, Live Your Passion, was built and branded encouraging people to explore our world, while discovering passions that fuel the journey.
Why am I writing about this you ask? Alan and Sierra Institute’s Executive Director, Jonathan, met at a conference and agreed that collaboration keeps us honest and moving forward, and that caring about our resources and engaging youth in stewardship were the main take aways. Alan was excited to hear about our P-CREW program: P-CREW, if you remember, is an acronym for Plumas Conservation, Restoration, Education in Watersheds.
Currently, Session 2 of 2017 P-CREW is coming home from 5 weeks of working on the Pacific Crest Trail building and restoring trail. Remember in the film Wild when Cheryl Strayed runs into skiers who yelled, “Plumas County” when she asks where she is? That is the area where P-CREW lives, works and plays for 5 weeks! Sierra Institute invests in youth through P-CREW and natural resource education by giving students experiences to learn new skills, develop existing skills and have fun while being stewards of forested watersheds. We all know that some level of work must be met in order to maintain ecosystem services and while P-CREW learns and performs the on-the-ground methods for maintaining those very services, they also develop character and create a vision for the world they want to re-enter.
We didn’t know the LYP acronym when we first started P-CREW or the developing the young stewards program. We didn’t know how great of an impact rural and urban youth together would have on our forests, watersheds and culture. We do know a positive outcome when it works and others have noticed too. That is why LYP is donating all proceeds from their hats, flags and leather products like key chains to Sierra Institute’s P-CREW program through October 2017.
How can you help support youth towards stewardship and natural resource education? First watch this LYP-video. Then take a moment to reflect… were there experiences that helped you strengthen your connections to a place or desire to achieve something you deeply cared about? Or did you not have that dreamy experience and wish you did?
Give yourself the opportunity now. Love a place, call it yours. Live your passion! Don’t know what it is yet? Start somewhere! The most important thing you can do is do it yourself and set an example for youth. Inspire them to find places and things they care about. Give them tools to be happy and hardy humans. Maybe hold up the LYP flag or throw a thumbs up in a photo. I and we at Sierra Institute say, “GO LYP!” Find it, share it and pass it on.
Thank you to LYP.
Sierra Institute also wants to give a shout out to PNF-Plumas National Forest- for initial and continued support of the P-CREW program.
This blog was written by Ramsey Harvey for Project Spotlight: P-CREW 2017!