“There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky.” ― Dejan Stojanovic, Serbian poet

Dear Friend of WV Rivers,

You may already know me, or I may already know you. Either way, let's get to know each other better! 

My name is Tanner Haid and I am the Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator with WV Rivers. I live in Charles Town with my wife, two daughters, and rescue dog. 

My role on the WV Rivers team focuses on bringing people together around clean water in the Eastern Panhandle. Although we may be physically apart for some time, we still have the opportunity to come together by sharing our unique experiences in the great oudoors.

A week ago, we sent out an email reminding everyone that we can find peace in nature in these difficult times. As individuals, as families, and as a global community, we are all exploring what exactly peace means for each of us, and where to find it.

Collectively, we find ourselves at a loss for words, unable to either comprehend or give voice to our concerns for our health, well-being, and community. As you search for those words, remember that the Eastern Panhandle is home to many places of natural beauty that are still open to the public. Over the next few weeks, I'd like to share some of those special places with you. I encourage you to get out and explore them either now, or in the future.

Just this week, my family took a trip to the Yankauer Nature Preserve. Owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by Potomac Valley Audubon Society, this 104 acre preserve features cedar forests, bountiful wildflowers, and a scenic overlook of the Potomac River.

As the state lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition, WV Rivers supports organizations like PVAS in building their capacity for protecting & advocating for clean water. PVAS is a vital partner in our Safe Water for Harpers Ferry program where they have been leading a watershed program at two elementary schools in the Elks Run Watershed. We encourage folks local to PVAS to take part in their efforts to observe the impacts of climate change on local bird populations.

Yankauer is one of four nature preserves that the PVAS manages in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia - get out and explore them all (while practicing social distancing, letting others pass at a safe distance, and as always, picking up pet waste). More information can be found at potomacaudubon.org. 

Wherever you go to find peace in nature, make sure you take a moment for yourself, or with your family, to contemplate the little things that hold the deeper truths we seek. Investigate the innerworkings of a fallen tree. Find snails and acorns and other forgotten treasures hidden on the forest floor. Sit on a bench overlooking a river and just breathe.

It is these small moments that form the alphabet of our lives, allowing us to weave together a story of health, well-being, and community.

As you find peace in nature, the words will find you.

To clean air and clean hands,

Tanner Haid, Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator

West Virginia Rivers Coalition
3501 MacCorkle Ave SE #129  | Charleston, West Virginia 25304
304-637-7201 | wvrivers@wvrivers.org

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