10 young people share their passion for the natural world

By: James Yusko, Orono, Minnesota

“I love nature. I think everyone should. Sometimes it’s hard to have a reason to go outside, but once you are there, there is beauty everywhere you look. There are birds singing and squirrels and bees and wildflowers and wild food sources. Animals are always around and sometimes even stop by when you least expect it to. Some say nature is a healer, but I think it’s too important to miss!”

“I hope to inspire people to step outside and enjoy nature more. Because there is a lot we don’t understand about nature. And we need more scientists to study it so that we can understand it better, and then use that knowledge to make better decisions for the health of the earth. When we do that, we create an improved, balanced environment that will keep us healthy.”

“The smell of spring in the air! It’s that perfume of flowers and sweet pea-like scents and the heat of the sunlight because it is coming off the hot, fresh, natural, rich earth and we all know how much that affects the immune system. It’s a cocktail that creates health!”

“I am an allergy and a newly diagnosed MS sufferer. Fortunately, I am on a wait list for a bioprosthetic steroid that may have a cure for MS. And there are treatments for allergies that will help this as well. So I’m trying to take care of both my health and my allergy. And if I can add beautiful nature and exercise and energy to my life, why not?”

“I love to take my dog with me to the woods because we can hear all the rustling of leaves, which means it’s time to eat berries. And I love listening to the high C’s that are produced by this beautiful, abundant food source. Nature makes me feel better so I bring my dogs with me because I don’t want them to feel deprived because they see me exercising every day. Not many people get to see their dog doing something they love so it gives me energy to feel better.”

“I’m currently on my two year mission with a development organization. My mom is going to be 95 so I have several people looking after my mom to help out with me and my development. Each day the team leader is telling us what they need to make a project go and our coach tells us a video call but she has three different languages! What I feel the most is just how amazed I am with how a country so small can be so huge. So much to learn, so much to understand! I feel privileged to be here and blessed to be able to be part of this team!”

“This is a story I heard from my mother the other day. When I was in middle school I would go out when the weather was cloudy and we lived on the east side of the Capitol. It was a 1-2 hour walk from school to my dad’s house. People would come up to me and say they were from Michigan or Wisconsin and there would be those “1 in 10 million” comments you hear around town. My father would tell me, “One out of 10 million is your home state” and I would laugh and say, “Oh my God dad, I wish there were 10 billion of us!”

“Now that I am an adult, I see that one of those “1 out of 10 million” comments is what works for me. And it’s worked for me from the time I was 7, then 11, then 13, and now when I am 19, living in Minneapolis. It’s a funny feeling when people see you outside. You might be seen as an important person living somewhere in Minnesota. And when someone stops to say hello and ask you a question that’s a good feeling.”

“I love summer. Seeing all of my friends do ridiculous stunts and try new things that they usually wouldn’t do in the winter…It’s amazing. I love water sports and hang gliding. If we’re going to fly, I’m in it!”

“We love animals and want to learn more about them. We make daily trips to the animal shelter and we love the wildlife. I go camping and if there’s an animal under a tree I’ll sit there and contemplate how it’s gonna die or I can just feel the sting of the prey because it’s been in the same tree for so long.”

“Suffering is not something we should feel ashamed of. It

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