Saturday, April 23, 2011
Medical Doctor Becomes Wetlands Doctor
Earth Day was celebrated around the world yesterday. To read more about it check out this link:
The book cover featured in this blog post is one of my own The Shape of Betts Meadow: A Wetlands Story. Today I'd like to honor the man whom the book is about, my friend Dr. Gunnar Holmquist. Gunnar and his mother Lavina Holmquist both gathered a large part of their savings to buy Betts Meadow, a 140-acre dry pasture, ringed with a forest of tall, old pine trees. It was a beautiful place but it seemed that it had been changed from what it had once been: a wetland. Gunnar, a medical doctor soon became a wetland doctor.
Aerial photographs of the meadow showed that about one hundred years ago three streams had coursed through the meadow, and beavers had been at work there. Later, someone had blocked the streams to dry out the land for cattle to graze. Many species of plants and animals had left with the water.
Gunnar worked on restoring the meadow for ten years and he continues to monitor it today. His work has been recognized by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wetlands Conservation Awards to the Private Sector.
Hats off to Gunnar! He has shown us that one person can make a difference.