Category: Uncategorized

Changing Norms about Littering

In 1980 I became the Executive Director of a nonprofit nature center in Pueblo, Colorado, on the banks of the fast moving Arkansas River. I was shocked to find car bodies, refrigerators, stoves and tires on the banks at the nature center. How do…

Harambe – Rest in Peace

The story of the shooting of Harambe, the lowland gorilla, in Cincinnati commanded the air waves and TV time for several days. Harambe’s story, like that of Cecil the Lion, had the emotional power unique to human/animal interest news. It reminded me of the…

Branding a Region – Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

The coffee tree (Coffea arabica) was brought to Kona in 1828, now flourishing on more than 800 farms on the rich volcanic soils of Mauna Loa and Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is one of the most expensive coffees in the…

70th Anniversary of D-Day – A Time to Remember

Seventy years ago today Allied forces hit the beaches of Normandy, France, at Utah and Omaha Beaches after an early assault by Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc. The date was June 6, 1944. More than one million people annually visit Normandy Cemetery where…

Words of Wisdom That Endure On Earth Day

John Muir, who came to America from Scotland as a boy changed the world in his own special ways. He wrote, Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a…

Bridging the Digital Divide in Rwanda

Can you imagine losing family and friends in a brutal genocide, attending school without the financial and moral support of your family, continuing to support your younger brothers and sisters in school while you work as a park guide two or three hours distant…

Five Good Reasons to Quit Lecturing and Start Learning

Many of us went to schools and colleges where lectures prevailed. The expert spoke from behind a lecturn while we tried to listen. I say try, because I, for one, often slept. I remember being in Dr. “Gabby” Galbreath’s Evolution classroom and awakening suddenly…

A Place to Play

  Last weekend we visited Vandalia, Illinois, where I was raised. My old house is no longer there, but the memories remain. As we drove down eighth street, my mind drifted to summer evenings playing Kick the Can in the street. Some of my…

Underpromise, Overdeliver

We were on the Big Island of Hawaii last year and tried out a night swim with manta rays with a local company. We suited up with full wet suits, listened to the safety talk and then the photographer/naturalist gave us a pep talk….

Songs Make a Difference

I’ve been listening to Allison Krause, Neil and Peggy Young and Celine Dion today. Songs, good songs, cast a spell. I feel them more than hear them, in my heart instead of with my ears. Sometimes the melody matters most and sometimes the lyrics…

The Nonprofit Roller Coaster

I invested thirty-one years as executive director of two nonprofit organizations, a community nature center and a professional association. Both were somewhat like riding a roller coaster. You experience ups and downs each year, financially and emotionally. The predictable recession economies can lead the…

The Power of Questions

A couple of years ago we were in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and went to the Anne Frank house. It’s a powerful interpretive experience. Anne’s words projected on the walls of the small townhouse’s upstairs apartment are sobering. There is no guide, but at the…