Blogger Beth Ginter
December 21st, 2022
This fall, I had the good fortune to spend five days sailing down the Bay from Galesville, MD, to Norfolk, VA with my friends, Kate and Jack, on their relatively new (to them) Morgan 38. I learned to sail as an adult, taking lessons on a Sunfish in the Potomac when I first moved to Washington in 1994.
That was followed by much more meaningful learning over the course of several years, at the foot of a master, my father-in-law, Tom, a Naval academy graduate and one of those extraordinary sailors who can confidently and safely sail any vessel in any conditions. Tom also owned a Morgan and is a patient teacher who took a lot of joy from sharing his passion with others, including, fortuitously, me. He assembled crews of interesting people, planned elaborate onboard meals, charted courses, and created opportunities to immerse us in Chesapeake sailing. Tom retired from sailing a few years ago, and, owing to the busy pace of family, work, and life, I never sought out other opportunities to sail.
So when Kate and Jack invited me to join them in September, I jumped at the chance. I didn’t actually have time to take three days off and a spring knee injury left me feeling I wasn’t quite ready for it, but I am so glad I went. My hosts are lovely people and it was a great, highly restorative adventure. We had gorgeous weather, although not as much wind as we would have liked, but the relatively light wind also meant that the journey was leisurely, and I had a lot of time to think.
Specifically, I had the luxury of long sunlit hours, watching the Bay go by, and reflecting on our work here at CCLC. It wasn’t exactly a restful trip, but it was energizing to be surrounded by the beauty of our Bay – fish jumping, birds on the wing, arcing Spartina shorelines, and miles upon miles of lovely deep blue water. We were welcomed to Solomons Island by a Great Blue Heron that was fishing from the marina dock where we overnighted. We spent hours looking for dolphins and finally were rewarded on our last day, when we saw several pods, and one group escorted us as we crossed over from the Eastern Shore into Norfolk. These are career-affirming memories that will stay with me.
Having just finished up our late summer/early fall CBLP training season, I was tired and needed the break more than I knew. We all work hard around here. We’ve trained somewhere around 1700 landscape pros and others who work in Bay conservation and green infrastructure since we launched the CBLP program back in 2016. In November, we certified our 1000th Level 1 pro. Since October 2021, we’ve added three new part-time team members to support the expanding CBLP network and programs, and with our board and staff, we’re also shaping and cultivating an organization. We often measure our impact based on the number of people who attend our courses, but the real success story of our work is the collective beneficial impact that all of those trained professionals are having on the Bay and on streams, rivers, parks, and backyards across the watershed.
This truly is my dream job, but running a nonprofit is exhausting, and I must take time to rest and recharge. I know many of you are tired too. Please don’t miss the opportunity to get outdoors and away from work and spend time with people you love over the winter holidays. If you can, dedicate a few uninterrupted hours to staring at the Bay, or a mountain, or a stream, or a favorite tree in your own backyard. Take a moment to reflect on the good work you’ve done this year, and recenter yourself before 2023 is upon us.
See You Next Year!
Beth Ginter is the executive director of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council. She lives in Silver Spring, MD, with her family and a varied collection of companion animals.