GREENWICH, N.Y. — It’s 2020 and all the catch phrases and slogans will be about vision, future, and could possibly include the word perfect. Because, hey, the first thing that leaps to mind when we all hear the words twenty-twenty or see the figures 2020 that’s what we immediately think of; having perfect 2020 vision which requires no correction through glasses or contacts. After all, 2020 is the gold standard of visionary performance. Or is it?
Let’s think about the word vision and how it is defined.
1. The faculty or state of being able to see.
2. The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
3. An experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance.
4. A person or sight of unusual beauty.
And as a Verb-imagine. Imagine indeed, I would conjecture that definition #2 above is something that many people do every day in their professional roles based on experience, company missions, production goals etc. Many times, this planning is about facts, figures, policy, legal requirements, and a multitude of other items, but maybe, not so much with imagination.
Hmm, interesting, the reason why I am going through this thought process is many times we are called upon by land owners who have recently purchased land or have land and are recently retired, they come to us to help them figure out what they should “do” with the land. To me the word “do” is the result of using the word vision as a verb or definition #2 above. As adults I think we are severely disadvantaged when it comes to having imagination spark a vision for future planning. Kids have it in abundance and they really “see” things with a purity unrestricted by convention and wisdom which causes us to conform to set pattern of thinking as we age.
When people come to me about doing something with their land, I try to ask some questions to help them take a personal inventory as well as making the usual inventory of the landscape resources. I do this because at the end of the day the landscape will continue to exist as it is without change to its resources if nothing is “done” by owners. To certain owners doing nothing other than enjoying their landscape as is, is the vision. Think Thoreau.
Now back to those who are in the “do” mode. My questions to these people are: What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you like to garden? Do you like animals? Are you a home body? Do you like to travel? Do you like to play in the dirt? What inspires you? Do you have outdoor type skills? How much time or expense do you want to invest in your landscape? What is your vision for your land? I encourage people to not only take stock of what the resources are in their landscape worth developing or managing, but also what resources they themselves bring to the equation. At the end of the day, none of those landscape resources will reach full potential without the assistance of the landowner adding vision and resources of their own. Land means many things to many people and all for very personal reasons. What you “do” with your landscape needs to come from you and your imagination and vision, not someone else. Asking for guidance to gain information and make informed decisions is wise and beneficial to plan what to do with your land, but it will also be about taking stock of you as a person or family and what value owning land brings to your life.
–Corrina Aldrich, District Manager
Washington County Soil and Water
President Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition
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