Written by Liz Coplon
I grew up in an urban environment in the heart of San Francisco. We spent most of our weekends out in nature, whether it was roller skating or bike riding in Golden Gate Park or enjoying the flowers in the Arboretum. And when it was cold or foggy in the city (which is pretty often if you know San Francisco), we would drive across Golden Gate Bridge to go sailing or sunbathing at the beach in Tiburon, where it was always sunny and warm.
My father grew up on a farm in Germany and always loved the outdoors. He made sure my sister and I got to enjoy nature and learn about it too. Several times a year, we went skiing at Lake Tahoe or backpacking in Yosemite. He always taught us to leave the place better than how we found it.
As a kid, I didn’t always appreciate these trips — hiking three miles with a 25-pound backpack was not exactly my idea of a dream vacation at the time. But it was those trips that fostered the real appreciation and love for nature that I have now as an adult.
Today I’m lucky to live in an area in southern California where I am close to the city but surrounded by nature. From our back deck, I am able to see dolphins, sea lions, pelicans and even the occasional gray whale frolic in the Pacific Ocean, and the nearby Santa Monica Mountains have a lot of great hiking trails.
Nature plays a big role in my life, and it’s so important to me to be able to share California’s natural beauty with my family and protect it for everyone who lives here or visits.
This holiday season, I’m giving my friends and family the California Dreamin’ gift from NRDC’s Green Gifts Collection — and I hope you’ll consider it for the diehard West Coasters in your life as well. For $15, the gift helps support all of NRDC’s work to keep California beautiful — whether it’s saving North America’s last giant sequoia trees, creating more underwater parks for marine mammals (one of the most ambitious ocean protection efforts in history, by the way) or defending the state’s world-renowned beaches from water pollution.
It’s the perfect way to make a real difference and protect the stunning natural beauty of the Golden State that I’ve enjoyed my whole life — so that it’s here for generations of Californians to come.
Liz Coplon blogs at Farmstand LA.
Read more: california, california dreamin, golden gate park, golden state, green gifts, green gifts 2012, green holiday gifts, lake tahoe, natural resources defense council, nature, nrdc, NRDC green gifts, ocean, outdoors, san francisco, santa monica mountains, sequoias, west coast, yosemite
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