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Nature & You: Youth are beacons of hope for our world

The red-tailed hawk recently became Oklahoma's state raptor symbol. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTO]

The red-tailed hawk recently became Oklahoma's state raptor symbol. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTO]

Youth are beacons of hope for our world

In all of my 67 years of life, I have endured a never-ending onslaught of horrific, doomsday news items about the threats to the ecological health of Planet Earth. It would have been all too easy to just slide into a funk of despair and submit to the conclusion that all was lost.

I choose not to go down that path.

The front page news story in the May 14 edition of The Oklahoman was an account of how 10-year-old Ephraim Bowling rolled up his sleeves and went to work to make things better. He submitted a proposal to the state Legislature to have the red-tailed hawk designated as the newest addition to the official symbols for the state of Oklahoma. He succeeded in that effort. He then shepherded the proposal on to the governor's desk and watched as our state's chief executive put pen to paper and made the proposal a reality.

I was elated when I read this news account. It was the excellent balm to my bruised worries about the fate of all things nature and natural in our corner of the world. I tip my hat in gratitude to young Ephraim and his heroic efforts to do something positive for the outdoor world.

This is but one instance in many of how today's youth are taking a no-nonsense approach to problem-solving in regards to making our world a much better place.

Kudos to all of the young people out there who are the up-and-coming movers and shakers consistently getting things done to leave a healthy, vibrant natural world for generations yet unborn.

Take a bow, Ephraim.

— Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor

Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center.

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