By Jaime Jovanovich-Walker, Community Outreach Coordinator
We’ve all made it another trip around the sun, and as tradition goes, it’s the special time of year where many of us make resolutions for things we want to accomplish and achieve in the year to come. These range from the usual, like joining a gym, reading more, and spending more time with family to lofty ambitions like learning a new language, quitting a long-held vice, or making a substantial lifestyle change.
I personally like to set my bar really low at the beginning of the year, with 2019 goals like, “exercise (my right to eat) more (tacos),” and “incorporate the word cattywampus into at least one conversation per week.” We can only go up from here, friends!
But seriously, there are a few resolutions that I always hope are on everyone’s list and I’d love for you to add them to yours:
1.) Get more involved with your community and serving others.
I always think of the last scene in the Bill Murray Christmas movie, Scrooged, where Bill’s character discovers the power of helping others and making a difference in the world. It’s an amazing feeling, and once you try it you’ll want it, you’ll burn for it every day. I can testify, it’s spot on.
Getting involved with a local nonprofit, service club, or other philanthropic organization can not only make you feel awesome, but it truly strengthens and supports the community we love and cherish. Whether you give your labor, your time, your skills and gifts, or your financial support, engaging with the entities that make our home such a wonderful place is never time or money wasted.
We would love to have you join the Land Trust for trail and habitat work days at Idler’s Rest, adopted highway cleanups, and youth outreach and educational activities in 2019. Drop me a line or head to the volunteer page to learn more.
2.) Commit to improving health, happiness and wellbeing.
Spoiler alert: nature gives you ALL THREE just by being in it! You don’t have to spend money on an expensive gym membership and the required attire, you just have to lace up your hiking shoes, or grab your yoga mat and head out your back door.
Idler’s Rest Nature Preserve is open 365 per year, from dawn until dusk and has several miles of intersecting trails to explore in a beautiful forest setting. Unless you like adventuring in the woods in the dark, you’re set each and every day of 2019. Coming late spring and summer, watch for our popular Yoga in the Cedars sessions, a special way to find balance, center and peace through the practice of yoga in the outdoors.
We’re excited to bring back Sound Bathing and guided hikes for 2019 – plus new health and wellness activities on the horizon! And of course, there are a myriad of other amazing outdoor recreation and relaxation opportunities across our region, from the MAMBA trails atop Moscow Mountain, to the Latah and Chipman Trails, to angling along your favorite local waterway.
3.) Share the joy of nature with those you love.
The forests, meadows, mountains, streams, and special ecosystems of our region are teeming with beauty, adventure, fun, and opportunities to connect with the land, and with one another. The Palouse and north-central Idaho are home to some of the most iconic landscapes in the entire world, including the rolling hills of grain, lush, fertile mountainsides and healthy waterways and wildlife habitat. We’re also home to the most critically endangered ecosystem in the lower United States, the native Palouse Prairie habitat, a remarkable web of life that exists nowhere else on earth. Wow – it’d be kind of a jerk move to not take advantage of all this natural wonder.
Research shows that everyone, especially children, need time spent in nature for healthy emotional, physical, and mental development. Just being outside, even in your own backyard or a park, is shown to reduce stress and anxiety, lower your heart rate, and increase emotional comfort.
So make 2019 the year for unstructured play on the logs at Idler’s Rest, or a special hike to one of our area buttes. Make it the year your family and friends discover that while there may not be wifi in the forest, your connection is most certainly better. Make it the year where going to the woods, the mountains, the open spaces, really is going home.