Beavers are amazing, adorable, and builders that hold a major key to healthy ecosystems. But let us not forget the beaver is a representative of natural resources disappearing at an alarming rate. Green spaces provide far more benefits than we can even give them credit for – some people find enjoyment in walking their dog through Mary S. Young Park, some love the native plants covering the trails, some love soaking in the Willamette on a hot summer day. There is so much more! The trees sequester HUGE amounts of carbon which continues to be excessively emitted around the world, the beavers save TONS of water in their ponds and by recharging local aquifers, and nearly every animal imaginable in the northwest is drawn to beaver ponds for sustenance. Birds we like to watch, rare mammals like fishers and foxes roam around ponds, and colorful dragonflies all benefit immensely from beaver activity.
Without these natural resources people might struggle to find drinking water, forget the taste of fresh, natural, native salmon, or suffer from channelized streams disconnected from riparian areas. It is wonderful to have green spaces like Robinwood, Willamette Wetlands, and Mary S. Young Park so accessible! Let us celebrate all the amazing benefits our parks provide and continue to do all we can to protect and conserve green spaces we have left.