Nature is the best medicine

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That’s us mid-trail! Jeannette is on the left, that’s me in middle and Mariana on the right.

Even having an office at a national wildlife refuge, you can sometimes forget how amazing the places, wildlife and people that you’re working for are, even when they’re right outside the door. I’m fairly new to Philly and I’ve been saying forever that I’m going to go out and explore John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum more, and this month, thanks to a run challenge, I’ve been doing it. Yesterday was the perfect day- a busy day at the office coupled with a crisp spring breeze and partly cloudy sky. After work, I grabbed Jeannette Guess, the president of the Friends of Heinz Refuge and Mariana Bergerson, the deputy refuge manager, and we hit the trail!

Besides dropping some serious knowledge on me about the history of the refuge, I learned that these two ladies are the most amazing nature photographers. Either that, or I need a new phone! Every few hundred feet, we would comment on how beautiful the refuge was and how insane it was that we were both a few hundred yards from an international airport and a bald eagle’s nest. Keep reading to check out an awesome audio clip Jeanntte took of spring peepers!

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One of my favorites of Jeannette’s great photos!

On our five mile trip, we didn’t see much wildlife so late in the afternoon, but we caught some beautiful sunset shots and saw a bunch of visitors going for a walk, running, biking, birdwatching and taking photos. They had the same idea we did.

I might be late to the party, but I had to share this experience from yesterday. The time out on the refuge was better than any time on my sofa. It shows just how important it is to conserve these urban green spaces.

From Jeannette…

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What do you do when you’ve had a grueling week filled with deadlines, lots of meetings and extended workdays? You grab two employees after work and hit the trails. What an amazing five mile journey with Mariana and Tylar. We visited the new boardwalk, took some amazing photos and enjoyed every step as we made our way through this beautiful refuge.  I’m looking forward to the next Heinz Healthy Treks journey. We came up with a name to keep these walks going and maybe start them as a weekly event in the community! Below is one of my favorite photos.

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Sunset over the impoundment.

And here is an audio clip of spring peepers. We were about 200 feet from a train station.

From Mariana…

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John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tincum has been an important place in the southwest Philadelphia community for many years. I’ve been lucky enough to call this place home/work (the two can’t really be separated!) for the last six years. Every time that I get the opportunity to explore the refuge, it is amazing that every bend in the trail offers a new and memorable experience. Whether it is a beautiful sunset as I shared last night with coworkers and friends, an encounter with enthusiastic visitors seeing the bald eagle nest for the first time, or finding a sense of solitude in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, the refuge provides a sense of stability in an ever changing world.

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So artistic.

It’s safe to say we all love John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. I’m so glad our work is to conserve this special place, and introduce more people to it’s pure awesomeness!

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