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Reflections on Public Lands Day from Climate Activist, Clare Gallagher

“I am happiest when I’m running and walking outside on public trails in Boulder and beyond. One of my favorite trails is called the Mesa trail. I typically run straight there from where I live, but I sometimes bike there. Trailheads these days are getting more crowded, which I think is exciting because it indicates more folks are using public lands and trails. If more of us spend time outside on protected public land - land that’s rich in biodiversity and without noise and light pollution from industrial activities - I believe our society will be better able to tackle the challenges of climate change. If more of us feel an innate connection to the natural world, I believe there will be a better chance that our leaders will pass policies to protect our home."

"When I’m running on my local trails, I often think of how even though the area is typically free from industrial noises and lights, no trail in my local area is free from air pollution. It saddens me to know that even though I do my part to limit my carbon emissions - for example I bike around town for errands instead of driving - I know that my actions alone cannot prevent air pollution. That requires actions from our leaders - the people in charge who have the power to pass policies to regulate air pollution. When I go for a run on my local public trails this Public Lands Day, I’ll be thinking about a future in which more of us have an innate connection to the natural world and a world in which we have cleaner air.”

- Clare Gallagher