The Secret Society of Survey Stake Pullers

Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of the Peninsula Open Space Trust’s Wallace Stegner Lectures. This lecture was by Richard Louv, author of the book “The Last Child in the Woods,” about the decreasing contact that children have with nature. Louv talked about being a member of the Secret Society of Survey Stake Pullers – people who as children had roamed in woods, and then became enraged to find survey stakes marking where their woods would be destroyed, and pulled the stakes out.

I’ll confess to having become a member of this society when I was eight years old and roaming the woods of upstate New York, although I only did it once (not nearly as extensively as some other folks). I’ve little doubt that my childhood access to nature plays a role in my current desire to protect open space through wholly-legal means.

Louv has founded the Children and Nature Network to “reconnect children to nature.” These efforts are an important complement to our open space advocacy. Four decades of CGF’s work has created a network of open space reserves in our counties, and we can use that network to support more advocacy for open space protection.

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