I recently had the privilege of visiting a friend who lives in Moab, Utah, and got to explore the stunning natural beauty of the American west. While hiking, I learned about the delicate and complex ecosystem of biocrust (pictured lower left), and the importance of protecting it. To teach visitors, there were many signs that stated “Stay on Trails. Protect Park Soils,” (pictured lower right). But it was the central reminder on the sign that stuck with me- “Your steps matter.”

Although the land at The Confluence does not include biocrust, there are still ecosystems of miniscule and interconnected life below our feet, a fact that I aim to teach all of our visitors. Whether you are in a national park, a local preserve, or your own backyard, your steps matter. And not only the steps you take with each foot, but the steps you take with your heart and mind to support the environment. The trip helped me see how lucky we are to live in this moment in geologic time- where we can witness the expanse of canyons, mountains, and flowing rivers and enjoy a global temperature that is generally habitable (for now).