At age 94, Cleveland native Alida Struze knows that times have certainly changed. She worries, however, that when it comes to wild places, things have not changed for the better. And she feels children are the ones losing out.
"When I was little, we didn't have any money to travel to our country's grand wild places," Alida said. "But we had fields of Queen Anne's lace and daisies and buttercups. And there was a small pond across from our house where my brother and I could see tadpoles and frogs."
Alida also fondly recalls trips to visit family in rural Ohio. "The first thing I wanted to do when we got there was go into the woods," she said. "We had to cross a rickety swinging bridge to get there. I loved all the tall trees, and I can still smell the ferns and the loam.
"I feel so bad for the kids growing up today because we are ruining our environment with fracking and uncontrolled growth," Alida continued. "If we do not do something to help, what will our children have in the future?"
For many years Alida has been committed to doing her part to preserve wildlands for the next generation to enjoy. "I'm not rich, but I give what I can to several environmental groups, including The Wilderness Society," she noted. "I also contact my representatives about environmental legislation I feel strongly about, and I encourage others to do the same."
In addition to her decades of current support, Alida has made a generous commitment to the future of wild places by including a gift to The Wilderness Society In her will. "I spent 42 years as a social worker, so I have always tried to help people," she explained. "My bequest to The Wilderness Society is my way of continuing-after I'm gone-to help a group that has meant so much to me for many years. It's a simple way that I can continue to protect the environment.
"I hope others will consider making a gift in this way," she continued, "if for no other reason than to preserve wild places for our children."
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