We often think of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we release into the air. But perhaps we less often think about capturing the carbon from the air and sequestering it. Adopting key land use practices that promote our land and our ocean’s ability to re-capture carbon and store it for years to come is essential to reducing rising temperatures.
Each year an estimated 18 million acres of forest is being lost to deforestation. These losses greatly diminish our ability to reabsorb carbon and causing another 15% of all greenhouse gases annually. It’s a grim prospect, so we believe any forward-thinking land use and conservation practices are highly important. Here are a few that we are supporting, financially and with our team’s own sweat equity.
On a hot, New England summer day, we took a day out of the office to participate in a SELT Trail Building Day at Stonehouse Forest. SELT is the Southeast Land Trust, a great organization dedicated to protecting and sustaining the significant lands in our communities for clean water, outdoor recreation, fresh food, wildlife, and healthy forests. Together, we hauled lumber and built bridges for a network of trails in this newly conserved (2017) 1,500-acre SELT-owned property near Stonehouse Pond in Barrington. We all met at the Stonehouse Pond parking lot at 9 am, equipped with work gloves, water, sunscreen, bug spray, bag lunch, tools and our tool belts, ready to go.
“When we arrived at the trail head we met briefly with the folks from SELT,” shared Bill Kramer, NEMO’s Art Director. “The plan was to build two bridges — a 16 footer and a 20 footer. With the trail being new, we would also clear some brush and deconstruct and remove the old bridge on that trail. The air was thick and heavy, the mosquitoes were aggressive and persistent.”
“Five layers of Deepwoods Off, combined with pints of sweat and dirt, eventually created a layer decent enough to shield us from the little blood suckers.” Bill Kramer
Our first mission was to carry all of the materials from the trail head down to the prepped stream crossings about 300 yards away. In a great team effort, we carried as much wood as we could in a few trips and many hands made short work of several large piles of lumber. Once all the boards were delivered to each of the bridge locations, construction began. We split off into teams and got into a rhythm. At one point there were six people hammering on one bridge in a staccato serenade.
The team felt great finishing up both of these projects in a day’s work. The bridges are super solid and will be used by hikers as well as snowmobilers and mountain bikers. Just as we were getting back to the car, the sky opened up and rain dumped. It felt great rinsing off the dirt, sweat, and bug spray — perfect timing. After the build, we headed to cook up some burgers, have a few beers, and relax together.
There’s no team activity quite like the one that gives back to our local community, builds a trail network for recreation, and takes place in a pristine setting such as Stonehouse. We’ve already arranged our next trail day and are looking forward to it.
Fresh off a strong finish and presence at Reach the Beach, a small team of NEMO athletes and fundraisers continued the charge by hitting the SELT TrailFest Fundraiser Challenge on September 22 at Burley Farm in Epping, NH — future home of SELT HQ. NEMO proudly sponsored the event and assembled a team of runners who gathered pledges and competed in the 5K race in support of our friends at SELT and their important mission.
The weather was absolutely perfect and the trails were beautiful. The course took us through a number of rolling fields and stands of hard and softwoods. There were a few solids hills thrown in there as well. We had a great time at the day-long trail celebration, starting with the 5k Trail Run/Walk, a Fun Run for kids, some terrific local food. Everyone enjoyed the launch of a new beer collaboration with Throwback Brewery and Revision Energy — an IPA called“Enjoy the Sun”to support SELT.
“SELT Trailfest was an awesome event which brought together community members from the area to support the important conservation work SELT is doing in our area.
I had a blast running alongside my coworkers through the spectacular 5K course that SELT set up. There was an amazing turnout of like-minded folks who really appreciate the significance of preserving our lands for years to come. Emily Balch
This year, once again, we’ll also sell off old tents and sleeping bags that we used for demos or were part of our experimentation as we developed our products. We’re thrilled to again donate these proceeds to SELT’s important work.
If you’re interested in supporting SELT, please learn more about becoming a member here.
The American Chestnut Foundation generates hybrid saplings with seeds from what remains of the majestic American Chestnut tree. Using a method called backcross breeding, they have been trying to build immunity within the saplings to the Asian blight that wiped them out around the turn of the century and slowly re-establish these amazing trees back into the Eastern landscape.
Currently, they have a great citizen science project going that we’ve decided to participate in. The program was just started this year, so it is very relevant. TACF is placing a priority on locating and conserving as many wild American chestnut trees as possible. They need help finding live Chestnuts and collecting leaves and/or nuts from them . Not only does it help their initiative, but it gets us out adventuring together and builds our ability to identify local flora. Collectively, we hope to cover 100 miles and just maybe, we’ll find a couple American Chestnut trees.
The idea is to just get out into the forest and look for as many of these trees as possible. Here is the process they request:
Lastly, we will be donating a portion of the proceeds from our Sample Sale to help them continue their hybrid saplings production, research, genomic selection, etc. Another great piece is that our donation was matched dollar for dollar by another benefactor.
Did you know trees talked to each other?! And fallen trees’ stumps can be kept alive by their children? If you’re looking for a fascinating read, look no further than “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohleben. Chronicling his experience as a forester in Germany, Peter reveals the secrets of the forest that he observed from extended time spent close to the great beings of the forest. We’re reading it as a company and swapping notes on the most fascinating and awakening learnings. This is an awesome book so far and has changed the way we think about the trees and forests in which we adventure.