It's an Affair of the Heart

by Mary Granskou

It was a crisp Fall day in 1993 when I drove from Ottawa to near Algonquin Park where the CPAWS National Board was meeting. I was being interviewed for a job. I remember the energy and strong sense of mission in the room. Board Chair Harvey Locke cracked a big smile when I knew what an extirpated species was - whew!

The long and short of it is I got the job as CPAWS' National Executive Director and stayed for seven incredible years. The work stretched me in ways I couldn't even imagine peppered with surging high points when we'd have a watershed victory. There were brutal long days (I jokingly called myself "the lady with the mop") but when good news came in it was high test soul food for everyone on the team.

So if you trip across this little tome and you're not involved in protecting nature, I encourage you to put your paddle in the water! This kind of work affirms the very roots of life itself. It can feel like part of you becomes grafted at the cellular level to the places you love and work to save.

I'm still doing conservation work today but I wanted to say about that formative time that I'm so deeply grateful for having the chance to work and laugh and grow with CPAWS.