Writing by Jack B
Walking through a forest alone can be a magical thing, but no one is actually alone in a forest. The Meridian Park proves this. After the first step you take onto the beaten dirt path, you leave Mount Pleasant behind. The sounds of cars slowly fade away the deeper you go. There is a different kind of life among the trees. A kind of life that does not have blood running through it, but instead the purest substance in the world. Water. As you walk deeper into the Michigan forest, it becomes more and more apparent the importance water has on the land. Fueling seeds to grow from small beautifully green plants to great trees that block out the sun. So much diversity and natural beauty can be accredited to only thing, water. The Chippewa river twists and turns through the forest like a delicate bulldozer. Dirt hiking trails follow the river under the protection of the great trees that guard its banks. The trees accept the gifts of water and grow large and in return they dig their roots deep into the banks of the river to give structure. The trees grow large eyes on their trunks to watch over the river and its dependents. The fish and aquatic animals also accept gifts from the river. Allowing them to travel and feed. In return the aquatic animals try to protect the delicate balance of the rivers ecosystem. The river gives to everyone, including us, but we have taken more gifts than what was offered. I have many amazing memories of the Chippewa river, from both my childhood and my college years. Every summer my grandparents would take me to the river and with us were always three large inflatables tubes. I remember spending hours floating down the river, soaking in the sun and the beautiful views. Unfortunately, I have not been able to float the Chippewa in years but luckily I decided to attend Central Michigan University because I always felt Mount Pleasant was my home away from Home. My freshman year I was part of a biology lab that tested the rivers water quality. It saddened me to find out that the river I grew up loving was critically polluted. However, this did not stop me from enjoying the rivers beauty. Last year I adopted a puppy and we both love spending time walking along the river and jumping in the deep parts on hot days. The Chippewa river is a special place for many people and for many reasons but we need to take action on keeping this landmark clean so the future generations can enjoy the gifts the river gave to us.