view of the creek at Heinzerling Family Five Points Nature Preserve

Posted by: Elijah Stewart

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  • 03/06/2024

Visiting Preserves: Guests In Someone Else’s Home

“We live here — please respect our home!” is the unspoken understanding when visiting someone’s home. We quickly catch cues about taking off shoes, where we can go, which doors and cabinets we shouldn’t open. We know the range of acceptable activities.

When visiting a preserve, we may forget where we are. Instead of acknowledging we are guests in the homes of animals and plants, we might act as if the place exists for our entertainment.

frog perched on a branch

Although ACRES preserves are homes for thousands of species, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we are guests in their homes for only an hour or so at a time.

ACRES preserve rules can help us understand nature’s cues — can help us know the house rules. The more we get to know the residents, the more we’ll understand their unspoken cues about behavior while we are in their homes.

On your next preserve visit, in addition to enjoying the beautiful homes, get to know the residents. Think about where animals eat, sleep, travel, hide and play. Learn and think about where plants set up their solar panels (leaves), how they move through reproduction, how they defend themselves, how they adapt to a life rooted in place. Through observation, curiosity and increased knowledge, you’ll become a better house guest.

Through ACRES, you ensure these homes exist and are well maintained. In the larger picture, the preserves are our homes too. They are part of where we live — providing the air we breathe and the water we drink. Thank you for investing in and helping maintain our shared household.

Jason Kissel

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