Citizen Ecology

My mom and stepdad recently bought a beach house near Cape May. I’m trying not to interpret this as “I now have a beach house near Cape May,” but it’s hard; I have a key to the beach house, and have been told I can use it whenever I want. The beach house is a half a block from the bay, and two blocks from one of the many wildlife management areas down that way.
Last month I took myself on a little business retreat to the beach house to clear my head and get some ideas for the coming season, sort out what vegetables I want to grow and what nursery plants I want to offer, how much money I want to make, and how much more water I need to drink for optimum health.
Early in the morning I took my mom’s bike out to the wildlife management area and cruised around the pines, admiring the the golden grass tufts and the white seed puffs of the winter meadows- my favorite color palette. I read about the ongoing restoration project there, about the vernal ponds and the native grasslands and the threatened pinelands, and as I went deeper into the woods I vowed to get to know New Jersey better.
Completing the loop, I came back to the entrance where the Department of Environmental Protection has a sign about the project, which is overseen by the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Division.  I thought for the millionth time that I would very much like to work for the Fish and Wildlife Division of New Jersey or Pennsylvania installing, maybe even one day designing, these cultivated wetlands, these meadows, these woodlands.
In the last two decades Pennsylvania has lost millions of acres to sprawl.