Give the Gift of Nature!

“Everybody needs beauty … places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.”

— John Muir

It is this deep understanding that fuels much of our work at SWMLC. That, in the same way we need water to drink and food to nourish our bodies, we as humans need nature to feed our souls.

As we enter the holiday season, SWMLC is devoting this year’s #GivingTuesday campaign and our year-end appeal to raising the remaining $20,000 necessary to complete our first phase of universal access at Bow in the Clouds Preserve. Because everybody needs a place where they can enjoy the benefits of nature.

According to the Disability Network Southwest Michigan (DNSWM), more than 50,000 or 20% of Kalamazoo County’s residents have a disability.

Having access to recreational activities and the means of being able to share that experience with others aids in creating a healthy and inclusive community.

Joel Cooper

CEO and President, Disability Network Southwest Michigan

These universal access improvements will benefit everyone – from those who are mobility-challenged, to people with small children in strollers, to those who just like to walk side-by-side. The increased width and level grade of the trails will make them easier for all people to use and enjoy. Universal access will also help to lay the foundation at Bow in the Clouds Preserve for expanded nature-based education programming serving children in Kalamazoo’s Eastside Neighborhood.

Indeed, if we are blessed with a long life, most of us will become disabled in our lifetimes. So these universal access improvements not only serve mobility-challenged people today, but also serve this growing population into the future.

As you consider your year-end giving, please consider giving the gift of nature by donating to create universal access at Bow in the Clouds Preserve.

Whether it’s watching the wetland turn purple in the fall with blooming Joe-Pye weed, observing migratory orioles building their signature hammock nests in the springtime, or spending a warm summer day sitting quietly amongst the monarchs fluttering in meadows of milkweed, Bow in the Clouds offers countless nature moments that give us joy.