On the Fourth of July as we celebrate our nation’s 248th Day of Independence, it provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the true meaning of our contribution to the United States of America. To live in the USA is about so much more than simply a place that we call home. It is about a deeply felt commitment to the higher principles of resilience, stewardship, and conservation.

Independence Day presents another opportunity for us to be grateful for the blessings that our liberty signifies and for the opportunities that it presents. We should all be humbled when reflecting on the bold conservationists who are committed to preserving and restoring the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Frontline boots-on-the-ground conservationists across our nation and right here in our great state of Illinois are working through a challenging yet opportune period in our history. We have always overcome difficult times through our enduring commitment to preserving the natural resources that our great state and nation are built upon. We must widen the circle of passion for all through that same hopeful vision of conservation and stewardship.

As we embrace the opportunities before us, I am confident that we will remain a nation, state, and industry that is compassionate to our neighbors in need and generous to those who are struggling. Conservation and stewardship of our Independence comes in various forms, but it should always involve serving something bigger than ourselves.

May you and your loved ones enjoy a Fourth of July holiday weekend filled with gratitude and appreciation for living in this great nation of opportunity, promise, and hope.

Thank you for all you do and for your continued commitment to our shared vision of health soils and clean water.

Michael Woods, Executive Director
Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts

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