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Helen Taylor lives in Lansing, and is state director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan and a Great Lakes Commissioner. Her favorite brunch dish is yogurt, fruit and nuts, although she’s been known to drive 75 miles for bacon. The views and assertions of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan.

Reset the new year, and take a walk outside

You’re probably already failed at whatever you resolved on New Year’s Eve. So why not give yourself a break and try again on Earth Day?

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Three cheers for a state budget that gets natural resources right

Michigan could grow into a rich, green future, if it continues to wisely manage its abundant gifts. The proposed state budget suggests Gov. Rick Snyder understands this.




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Fight against invasive species requires many soldiers, and maybe you

I love winter for a lot of reasons – the beauty of snow, going sledding, and because I’m one of those late bloomers that waited until my 50th birthday to learn how to downhill ski. Another reason is that winter allows me […]

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Time to be thankful for farmers’ husbandry of Michigan water

This is a bit of a different take on a Thanksgiving column. While I appreciate the writers who inspire us to pause, reflect and be thankful for all we have, the good food of the holiday is a close second in my […]

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Visiting a diminished D.C. still productive for Nature Conservancy

By the time you read this, let’s hope the federal government shutdown is behind us. Yet we did not see the shutdown coming a year ago, when the Nature Conservancy planned a day in October when our senior staff and over 100 […]

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Three sunrise-coast gems that are Pure Michigan

With 3,000 miles of shoreline on four of the five Great Lakes, there are so many places in Michigan to explore that it would take a lifetime to discover them all. But, I have not met many state residents who have had […]

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Now more than ever, say nice things about Detroit (because they’re true)

After weeks of press about Detroit’s bankruptcy, I am clearly not the only one who feels compelled to speak up, in response to the countless reports streaming in about Detroit, but not based on visiting and reporting from Detroit. But I think […]

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5 reasons to be focused on health of Great Lakes every week

Two significant Great Lakes events happened in Michigan in the last two weeks. We should all be spreading the word and encouraging more of the same. A summit of the governors and premiers of the Great Lakes states and provinces convened on […]

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In Michigan, we celebrate – and ignore – nature’s rhythms of change

Our family tradition every summer is a special week amongst the magnificent dunes along Lake Michigan. The first thing we do when we arrive is run down to the lakeshore to the outlet where Lower Lake Herring connects to Lake Michigan, to […]

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A tiny trickle turns into a torrent of conservation issues for Michigan

Spring is here and, for me, that means heading down to Liberty, near Jackson, to visit the headwaters of the Grand River. I feel lucky to know the spot where Michigan’s longest river begins. It is a place protected by The Nature […]

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