On TRGT's Facebook page, I recently posted an article about the worrisome decline of the Cerulean Warbler, a rare songbird that we are fortunate enough to have in our forests of the Tennessee River Gorge. To summarize, the entire Cerulean Warbler population has plummeted a whopping 70% since 1966.
Okay…… but why should I care? That was my thought when TRGT Executive Director, Rick Huffines, ardently recounted these facts to me last month. You’ll see that it’s an adorable little bird.
Of course, I don’t want it to become extinct. But when my attention (and dollars) are being pulled to address so many causes, I need more than “adorable” to rein me in.
So, why care? I probed Rick for answers and here’s what I got: This bird is the first domino.
The Cerulean Warbler’s health (or lack thereof) directly indicates the health of our surroundings. It’s not about the bird. It’s not about the trees. It’s not about nature for nature’s sake.
It’s about the health of our community. It’s about the health of our families. The health of our own bodies. All animals (including us) have similar living requirements: clean air, clean water, sturdy shelter. If something is devastating the Cerulean Warbler population, it won’t be long before those same problems affect our immediate lives. And as concerned, participating citizens, we must draw a line in the sand to say this is the moment to care about the health of our space. Because if we don’t, our species could be the next to suffer.
So, how can you help? At TRGT, we are refocusing on land stewardship. More specifically, on biological inventories. We want to understand what’s on our lands so that we can make sure everything is healthy. (We're even planning a broadscale study for Cerulean Warblers!) You can invest in the future of this community by working with the Tennessee River Gorge Trust to ensure our space, air, water, and wildlife remain healthy. Give here.