The Milnes at Blossom Hollow

Why We Give

Guest post by Marc and Leah Milne

In the face of massive habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation on top of the ever-looming threat of climate change and the pervasive persistence of invasive species throughout Indiana, it’s easy to lose hope in a bright future for the natural world. To believe in a future where we all cherish and protect the critically important biodiversity that surrounds us is to be a perpetual optimist in a reality that rarely reflects such dreams.

But conservation organizations such as the Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc. (CILTI) make hope possible.

It’s been demonstrated over and over that even the smallest parcels of protected land can have widespread positive impacts on biodiversity. There have even been entire books written on this very topic (see Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy).

Protected areas rife with native species can help prevent the spread of invasive ones, reduce new introductions of non-natives, provide migratory stopovers for rare species, offer habitats for pollinators, and bolster populations of native species desperate for a home in Indiana’s fields of corn and soy.

Although the rewilding of small parcels of land such as your backyard may be helpful for some species, we all likely realize it’s not nearly enough to escape from the deep ecological hole we’ve dug for ourselves. Biodiversity in Indiana is on a steep decline and if major conservation work is not done soon, we are poised to lose thousands of species – and that is no exaggeration.

Part of the solution is a steep reduction in the main threats to biodiversity: habitat destruction, overexploitation, and climate change. This is why conserving large parcels of land is so important and why the work that CILTI does is so critical to the biodiversity within our state.

It is an easy decision to support land conservation. In the hands of dedicated land stewards such as those at CILTI, the ecological benefits of our monetary contributions are multiplied several fold down the generations. A donation to CILTI is a donation to a collective healthy future. What we receive in return is hope.

Marc and Leah Milne

Guest Bloggers

Marc and Leah Milne both teach at the University of Indianapolis.