Volunteering as a way of reconnecting with Chicago Wilderness
by Meredith Cywinski
I love the excitement of the city. I love Chicago and the North Center Neighborhood where I live. I find myself very busy with my husband, kids, house, job and trying to fit in all the other priorities that keep my life balanced; working out, attending theater, spending time with friends, and listening to live music. Somewhere along the way one of my biggest passions fell to the way-side: Nature. I forgot how to be uninhibited enough to enjoy nature the way I did when I was a kid.
The Chicago Wilderness Day of Service is an educational day of nature therapy for me. The positive experience of contributing to the restoration of Chicago’s precious wilderness continues well beyond this one day of service. Participating in the protection and restoration of the region’s natural areas gives me a personal high that drives me to ask “what else can I do.” It gives me confidence to teach my kids to have an unrestrained enjoyment and curiosity for nature. It makes me feel all of the other priorities are overrated.
As I share my story with others I find more often than not people desire for more of a connection with nature. The Day of Service brings together a diverse group of people who network about life experiences and share a passion for fulfilling that desire.