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October 25th, 2023
By Andrea Cooper
We are proud to share with you the latest issue of the Upstate Advocate, our twice-yearly print publication. Below, read the letter from Executive Director Andrea Cooper introducing this issue, which explores the rich and diverse the ecosystems that persist within the urbanized landscape, in addition to the latest news from our staff.
When we think about conservation, our forests, farms, mountains, and iconic areas often come to mind first, but nature is everywhere around us — even in urban areas. Sometimes the most special places are right outside our window, in our own neighborhoods.
I love to look out the window and see the first hummingbird of the season visit my family’s garden. They entertain me all summer long until they make their migration back south. When I’m not watching hummingbirds zip around, I enjoy the resident cardinals who visit our bird feeders and raise their families nearby.
Nature is always trying to find ways to survive and expand, but urban areas simultaneously do the same. So, it's essential to protect our urban green space, tree canopy, water quality, and biodiversity. That’s why UF works hard to ensure our region has clean water and air, ample green space, and sound policy to support our growing cities.
In this issue of the Upstate Advocate, we're looking at your neighborhood nature. The plants, animals, and ecosystems on these pages remind us that we share this world with other creatures and that we are part of nature. The natural systems that sustain life on our planet are right here. How we contribute to those systems is up to us.
Thanks to you, we can support nature near and far. Your gift helps keep our communities green, vibrant, and prosperous.