Conserving is a lifestyle. One which I was taught from a very early age. My grandfather survived the Great Depression of the 1930s. The life skills he learned were inscribed on my upbringing: only buy the food you need, never waste food, don’t leave the water running when washing the dishes nor brushing your teeth, fix items rather than throwing them away, and one most of us who grew up humbly will always remember, if you’re cold put on more clothes.
As a first generation American on my father’s side, America certainly is the land of plenty as compared to other areas of the world. Which is what makes Latino Conservation Week a great reminder of the important role our Latino community can lead as stewards of our Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To remind our community to not only conserve in our lives as consumers, but also the importance of the role we can play in properly managing our forests, green spaces, and waters so their health and abundance are here for generations to come.
There are simple ways we can be part of the conservation equation. If reducing waste in your day to day life is something you want to try, the simple act of turning off a light when you leave a room, placing food that may not be readily consumed in the freezer to extend longevity, or remembering to bring a reusable bag to the grocery store can collectively make a big difference. And of course, we can always conserve the “green stuff” by actively enjoying the 120+ free parks and forests our Commonwealth of a Pennsylvania offers. We as a community are the protectors of our beautiful shared spaces, we hope you will join our Pennsylvania Parks and Forests team to learn about the many ways you can help.
By Maria Montero; PPFF Board Member
Maria is a first generation American, born and raised in Pennsylvania. Maria’s service milestones lead to an executive appointment in the Commonwealth as the Executive Director for both the Pennsylvania Commission for Women and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA) and currently serves as the External Affairs Manager for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. Maria’s passion is community engagement and public service with a particular affinity as an advocate for conservation in her homeland of Pennsylvania’s beautiful parks and forests.