Show Notes

Today on The Average Conservationist Podcast, Marcus is riding solo to talk about springtime and some of the ways you can get outside and do some good. When the snow is finally gone, you can start to see more green than white and brown, the days are getting longer and you're seeing more of the sun than you've seen in months. Now is the time to use all of that pent up angst from sitting inside during the winter and get out and do some good. Hit some local trailheads, water access points or even parks and pick up some trash that was left throughout the winter months. Take the family and make a day of it, now is a great time to have conversations with the young conservationists in our lives about leaving things better than you found them.

Show Transcript

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of the Average Conservationist Podcast, and I'm your host, Marcus Shoeing. All right, so due to some, um, scheduling conflicts, I guess, uh, we had to, uh, my guest for this week, um, had to reschedule. So, uh, you're just gonna get me today. Uh, and it's not gonna be some very long, drawn out episode.

Um, what I really just want to kind of talk about [00:02:00] is. Yeah, it's springtime. Um, you know, here in Michigan, depending upon what part of the state you're in, um, we just got, uh, kind of blasted with snow over this past weekend. Um, anywhere from five to 12 inches. And I, I get it, you know, depending upon where you're at in the country.

Um, You know, getting blasted with snow or getting dumped on with snow has, um, you know, different meanings for, for, for different parts of the country. I, I certainly understand that, uh, here in Michigan. Anywhere, you know, if you're, you know, in the southern half of the state, five inches is a, is a good snow.

If you're, if you're further north, you know that 12 inches is probably a bit more, um, what you're used to when it comes to, to getting blasted or dumped on with snow. Um, but it just got me thinking, you know, we, we followed that big snowstorm up, uh, with some nice warm weather. And by that I mean this time of year in the forties, um, that snow.

Where I was at over the [00:03:00] weekend, uh, started to, to melt by Tuesday. Uh, I would say it was mostly gone. Uh, and, and as opposed or it was mostly gone except for the areas where, you know, you're in the woods, it's not getting a lot of direct sunlight. Um, you know, the snow from the fall, or excuse me, from the.

Um, that had accumulated in those areas was still there. Um, so it added to that a little bit. For the most part, the snow's gone and, you know, the, the, the lake that I was staying on this weekend, um, you know, it's probably about a two-thirds thaw, uh, two-thirds open water. And it just got me thinking about the springtime.

The, the spring is, I mean, fall's my favorite season, but spring has gotta be a, a very close second because everything's kind of coming back to life. Uh, you start to see the grass again. Um, maybe it's starting to, you know, it's [00:04:00] starting to green up in some areas. Uh, you're starting to see plants and trees come back to life.

More wildlife is, is starting to kind of show itself. Turkey season is, is on the horizon maybe for, for some people, for some states it's already opened up, but it's the, the springtime is, is kind of this rejuvenation period, uh, if you will. And I think, you know, not only. State or for states, Jesus, peace. I like looked at a word on my desk and, and started to say, you know, not only for for wildlife, but I think for, for us as conservationists, as individuals, uh, that, that, that rejuvenation, uh, is now for us and coming out of the winter.

Um, and a lot, you know, a lot of us are staying active, whether it's ice fishing, whether it's, you know, skiing, snowshoeing, uh, what. Activity you decide to participate in, which is, is, is awesome if you're, if you're [00:05:00] staying active throughout the winter months. Um, but this, this rejuvenation, you know that the days are getting longer, the weather's getting nicer, the.

The snow is, is pretty much gone and you get this kind of renewed sense of purpose, if you will. Um, you, you want to get outside more, you want to be more active, get outside with the kids. You want to go for some hikes, you know, maybe start doing some, some shed hunting. Maybe start doing some, some Turkey hunting or some spring scouting, um, you know, mountain biking, whatever it is.

I mean, there's, there's no shortage of, of things that can be done during the springtime. That, that rejuvenation, that we all feel. What I, I kind of want to talk about, um, is, is using that, that motivation that, you know, that second wind I guess, um, and, and, and put that towards some good use when it comes to conservation.

And what I mean by that is we've [00:06:00] all. Especially snow banks in neighborhoods, in parking lots at, you know, supermarkets or, or wherever. Um, when that snow melts, you see a bunch of garbage, a bunch of trash, and that goes not only for like those. Parking, parking lots or neighborhoods, but trailheads, um, you know, lakes specifically or, or specifically especially, um, when you think about boat launches and things like that, access points, um, that.

That get a lot of plow trucks and things like that, and all the, the debris that's left over from, from that season. Um, what I, you know, kind of challenge a lot of us to do is to go out and, you know, maybe make a morning of it, make an afternoon of it, whatever the case is, and go out and just clean up.

Because especially if you think about, you know, access points, boat launches in [00:07:00] in lakes, or access points in rivers. Those areas, all that, that garbage or that trash, whatever that is, if it's not cleaned up, likely it's going to end up in our waterways. Um, and there's no quicker way to damage and to harm our waterways than than trash and.

It doesn't take a lot to go out and, and do this, um, especially if you just, you know, pick one or two access points. Uh, especially I think about a, a local, um, river that I have a local waterway and very accessible at multiple points. Um, kind of throughout this, there's a big, uh, trail. No hiking, walking, running, biking, trail, uh, that runs basically parallel, um, or alongside this, this creek.

And, you know, pick two or three of those. And I'm sure a lot of us have, you know, water systems like this in our area. Um, you [00:08:00] know, pick two or three points. Uh, if, if they're relatively close by and just swing through, check out the, the parking lot, pick up some trash, you know, do these little things. Start the spring off, right.

Start, you know, cuz, cuz fishing season, um, you know, for, for, so for some states is, is gonna open up here trout season specifically, or, you know, getting on the water and that's gonna mean a, a new influx, uh, of people that are gonna start targeting these areas and. Instead of starting fishing season kind of behind the eight ball, um, let's, let's get back to neutral.

Let's get back to, to homeostasis, I guess. Um, and try to get things back to, um, to where we want them when we start the season. Now, I know that throughout the course of, of fishing season, especially spring into summer, into fall, you know, there's, there's likely gonna be, uh, an a. Of trash and, and things like that that just build up from [00:09:00] being used by a lot of people.

And I think if we can not add to that, um, even more by not getting things cleaned up, um, I think we're, we're in a good spot. Um, what I, I think that it's easy to, to do something like this because, Really what it does is, is it allows us to go out, stretch our legs for, for a morning, for an afternoon, um, do some good, uh, bring your kids, because something like that is, is easy to do.

You can, you know, hit a trail head, clean up for, you know, 20 minutes, half hour, throw everyone back in the truck, say, all right, we're gonna go to another one, hit another one. Another 15, 20 minutes, half hour, whatever the case is. Um, and you can kind of, you know, you can make, um, you can make it very enjoyable because, you know, you get, you get stuff cleaned up and whether you're just throwing a big garbage bag in the back of the truck, you, if there's a recept, uh, garbage [00:10:00] receptacle there and you can just put everything in there, that's great too.

But then it allows the kids, you know, explore a little bit. You can talk about how, you know, mother Nature, as I mentioned earlier, is coming back to life, things that are in bloom. Um, you know, you can do some, some shed hunting, I guess. Um, you know, just for the kids' sakes, you know, just to get them involved, to make them, um, active participants in, in all of us.

And I think it, it, it's just an easy way to. Talk to, you know, your kids, um, about conservation, about leaving things better than you found them. Um, you know, I just, what was it last week? I suppose it was, um, I had the opportunity to speak to um, a local, um, cub Scout, uh, troop, uh, I guess it's Cups, scouts, cuz they were, they were pretty young.

But I was asked, um, by a neighbor of mine who is like the den leader, I guess, that they, that they call it. I don't know. [00:11:00] I've been out of Boy scouts for, for a really long time, so I couldn't tell you all the proper, uh, terminology, but asked that I come in and talk to his, his group of Cub scouts, um, about conservation.

And I was excited because, um, you know, it's, it's, it's something fun. It's enjoyable. , but I, I, prior to going in, I, I really wanted to think about, all right, if I'm five, six years old, what's gonna really hit home with me? What am I gonna be able to talk about that hopefully has some, some sticking power, some staying power, something that's gonna last and something that's gonna resonate with them.

So, I talked very broadly. Um, I brought up the term conservation and it's such a, a tough word for someone who is not, you know, entrenched in the outdoors or in that lifestyle to really grasp. [00:12:00] And I, I, I asked, I kind of started things out. I said, Hey, did, do you guys know what the word conservation means?

And there was kind of some blank stares. Understandably. So if I talk to my own kids who are around that age about the word conservation, I get the same kind of blank stare. So I, I kept it very high level and I talked about things that we can do with mom and dad, things that we can do with our friends, and kind of started to point out some examples.

I said, Hey, how many of you have picked up trash? How many of you have planted a tree? How many of you have seen wildlife and, you know, been tempted? , you know, kind of, uh, I don't think disturbed is the right word, but you know, you see a bird and you want to chase it or, or you see a rabbit and you want to chase it.

You know, I started talking about things like this and, you know, I even took it one step further. I said, How many of you brush your teeth, right? And of course, you know, all the hands kind of shoot to [00:13:00] the air and, you know, talking about conserving water, you know, between, you know, rinsing your toothbrush off or anything like that, you know, shutting the water off and conserving water and, you know, all these little things that, that we can do, that we can plant this seed of conservation for, for young kids, very early.

Make it relatable. Um, I think that's, that's the biggest thing when, when trying to, you know, really connect with, with our kids, um, you know, with nieces and nephews, you know, who, whomever it may be. And that's kind of the, the way that I went about it. And of course I had to. I think to, to really kind of captivate 'em.

I had to throw these kids some stickers because, you know what, six year old kid doesn't, doesn't want a cool sticker that he can show his friends or, or something like that. But I think as, as time goes [00:14:00] on and as this, I, I've talked about this at length with, with various guests throughout the year years, um, The next generation of conservationists are, are in our homes.

Um, you know, our, our kids, they're our friends kids. I mean, the list, the list goes on and on. And in order to, to really keep the needle moving in the right direction to, to keep this momentum that it seems like we're really gaining over the past, you know, decade, two decades between public land movement.

Um, you know, just all the different bills, um, that have been passed in order to keep, uh, you know, programs and agencies funded properly so that they can continue to do their work. In order to really capitalize on that, we need, you know, that, that next wave to be as [00:15:00] prepared as possible when the, when the time comes and they're called upon to voice their opinions, to carry the torch, to, you know, make sure that when we are all long gone, that these resources are, are still plentiful, that we're not talking about.

Animals that, that we grew up with, um, you know, getting put on, on lists that they don't need to be on or that we don't wanna see them on. So I think that starting this stuff early, and I'm, I'm, I'm gonna tie a bow on this. I promise that we all do our part, we all, you know, take a little bit of time to make sure, um, that we.

Getting people involved that we're taking this time when we all feel that rejuvenation, when we all are excited to get back, [00:16:00] excuse me, get back outside and start enjoying this nice weather. Um, you know, and doing the things that we need to do, um, to make sure that this future generation, that it's, it's ready to go when the time comes.

and I think that's ultimately, you know, what we need to do as parents, as conservationists is really prepare, prepare everyone, and as I said,

Excuse me. Um, take this opportunity, um, to get the kids outdoors. Excuse me. I, I don't know why I'm super short of breath today and coming off of a cold, so maybe that has something to do with it and I'm not used to speaking for, you know, almost 20 minutes here without having some type of back and forth with someone can, can oftentimes be tough.

Yeah. I think that ultimately that was really what I wanted to talk about today was [00:17:00] the rejuvenation and kind of capitalizing on that and being able to set the tone, um, as we, as we kick off, you know, spring and summer and into fall, and have those conversations, you know, get, get the, the kids out, the family out, make a day of it and just.

Go out and do some good be be the change that, that you wanna see as cliche as, as that is. Um, I think that that's, that's what we need to do. So I'm not gonna ramble too much more. One, um, every time I feel like I take a break, it sounds like I'm short of breath and I probably you listening are like, is he gonna cry?

No, I'm not. I'm just short of breath for some reason. And that's, that's what it sounds like. But yeah, that's just a little, a little food for thought for you. Um, something that you can hopefully listen to and it maybe it strikes a bit of a chord and gives you an [00:18:00] idea of, uh, maybe some things that, that you guys can get out and do.

Um, next time you have a free day, a free Saturday, free Sunday, whatever the case is. I know a lot of people are on spring break. You know, this week or, or next week or the week after, and you're probably thinking, gosh, if you're not going on vacation, God, what are we gonna do with the kids for a week while they're home from school?

Um, you know, take an afternoon, go, go for a hike. Go do something, something fun. Get 'em outdoors, get 'em some fresh air. Um, it'll be worth it. So that's, that's it, that's what I got for you guys today. Um, not super sexy, nothing that's, uh, earth shattering or groundbreaking. Just something that was on my mind as I was, uh, up north this weekend in northern Michigan.

And as I'm driving back home and I'm, you know, the, the snow is slowly dissipating, you know, the further south that you get and you know, the kids want to be outside all the time now cuz it's nice out and they can see the grass and, and all this stuff. It's, uh, [00:19:00] It's just a way for both you and your kids to, to get out and enjoy some, some fresh air, some sunshine, and, uh, do some good while you're at it.

So, uh, we'll be back next week. Uh, I'm not sure who my guest is. I have to look at my schedule and see who we've got lined up, but I assure you it's gonna be another great episode and, uh, I appreciate you guys tuning in, sticking with me. Uh, like I said, shorter this week, but still, uh, one that hopefully, uh, you guys.

So until next week, guys, stay safe out there and remember that conservation starts with you.