Maybe it’s because I’m a born-and-raised Virginia girl. Or maybe it’s because I’ve traveled the world enough to have seen the disparity between the way I was raised – and the opportunities that I had – compared to the extreme poverty in which children are growing up in many, many places around the world.
But the truth is, I never expected to witness such disparity right in my home state. In fact, I was admittedly shocked when I saw The Nature Conservancy story about the Bayview community – not far from where I grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia. I wondered how many times, on trips up to the Eastern Shore, I may have driven past this little forgotten community…
It’s hard to imagine people living in my home state without even the most basic modern conveniences – like running water and clean water to drink. And this particular community had been so completely cast aside that they weren’t even considered when a maximum-security prison was proposed on the property their ancestors had settled more than 300 years ago.
Thanks to a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the people of Bayview found their voice – and their spirit – and at the same time helped safeguard precious coastal habitat. I won’t give away the whole story, but the video is definitely worth a watch.
It was humbling to realize that I felt a strong connection to a group of people who I’d never met just because we shared the same home turf. It’s a powerful connection we have with our land – so powerful, in fact, that the prospect of losing it can sometimes motivate a community that has “stopped hoping and started settling” to stand up and start fighting for a better life.
View more inspiring videos about the benefits nature brings to people and their communities »