Louisa Morris: Shaping Visitors’ Experiences in Nature

Louisa Morris, Director of the Trails and Conservation Program, Mendocino Land Trust (MLT). Photo by Paolo Vescia
Louisa Morris, Director of the Trails and Conservation Program, Mendocino Land Trust (MLT). Photo by Paolo Vescia

The joy Louisa takes in stewardship shines through as she speaks about her work. She loves giving back to the Earth and restoring land damaged by human activity.

As the leader of the California Coastal Trail Program for MLT, her stewardship responsibilities benefit the land in many ways. One of her volunteer leading accomplishments was especially satisfying. After a 10-year effort, her Navarro Point volunteers virtually rid the area of some invasive plant species.

As a trail planner, Louisa enables people to visit special places once they have been protected, and her trail designs shape our experiences in nature.

At Shady Dell, where Louisa is working with the League to plan a trail, she sees the landscape as a blank canvas.

“We get to figure out the best places to take the trail, what kind of experience we want hikers to have, how to avoid any sensitive resources, and how to take people to the most beautiful forest areas and amazing coastal views,” she said. “It’s a really fun and creative process.”

Louisa’s trail planning work helps to ensure that visitors’ outdoor experiences are positive.

“With the trails, we give the public a way to get out and be touched by the natural beauty here,” Louisa said. Such uplifting experiences in nature can in turn inspire people to protect these special places.

How You Can Be a Steward Too

Louisa: You can donate money to your favorite nonprofit if that’s all you have time to do. Or you can tend land near your home. You can look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint: Grow your own food, ride your bike, avoid getting in the car as much. Get out in nature, and pay attention to ways that you might be able to give back—there are lots of opportunities out there.

Volunteer Opportunities

Help redwood parks by volunteering for California State Parks as a docent, caretaker or patroller, or choose from many other roles. Call (916) 653-9069 or email [email protected], and leave your name and address to receive applications and information about each of the parks.

If you’d like to get involved with the Mendocino Land Trust, visit their website to learn about volunteer opportunities and other ways you can help.

About the author

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish.

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