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Nature's Half-Time Speech

Written By: Heidi Anderson, Executive Director

This weekend the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team achieved the biggest comeback game in NFL history. Down 33 to zero at half-time, the Vikings roared back in the second half to beat the Indianapolis Colts, 39-36, in overtime. Being true Vikings fans, emotions were all over the place at my house. It is possible my husband cried a little - and I think he would admit it proudly.

Momentum is a commonly used term in sports. A team that has momentum is on the move and will take some effort to stop. More specifically the Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science refers to it as psychological momentum: “the positive or negative change in cognition, affect, physiology, and behavior caused by an event or series of events that affects either the perceptions of the competitors or, perhaps, the quality of performance and the outcome of the competition.”

The Vikings win Saturday was such a big shift in momentum it was record breaking. What kind of discussions happened in the locker room during half-time that shifted this momentum? Vikings Coach, Kevin O’Connell, said that at halftime, cornerback Patrick Peterson said, “All we need is five touchdowns.” Yeah sure – that’s all. Insert eye roll here.

Later that night I was reading an article from the Nature Conservancy on a “New Deal for Nature”. The article talked about the framework needed to protect our planet, how to halt the nature deficit and potentially reverse the global decline of biodiversity (the variety of life found on Earth). Currently we have an approximate $700 billion funding gap between what we spend to protect nature every year and what we need to be spending according to the “Landmark Report”. Yeah sure – that’s all.

Extreme hurricanes, loss of biodiversity, destroyed habitats, limited wetlands, decimated trail systems, fierce and powerful fires - it's half-time in the fight to save our planet and we are down. Luckily, we have many Patrick Petersons who are shifting the momentum.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, gave all the stock in his company to a trust and a nonprofit dedicated to fighting environmental crises and defending nature. The Nature Conservancy launched Blue Bond for Ocean Conservation; a model that helps governments unlock funding for marine conservation. Para’ Brazil conducted the first study showing that keeping forests standing is more profitable than cutting them down. Barbie came out with an entire eco-leadership Barbie doll team (Conservation Scientist, Renewable Energy Engineer, Chief Sustainability Officer, and an Environmental Advocate). Even Zack Efron (the actor from High School Musical, the Greatest Showman, and for you history buffs the Greatest Beer Run Ever – seriously if you like history this movie is for you) has a TV show that explores healthy, sustainable ways to live.

The momentum is shifting and the time is now to throw that touchdown pass that gets us closer to winning. A donation to the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation restores wetlands, maintains a trails system, protects the Truckee River, and educates the next generation of eco-leaders. Your support is needed to protect our planet and it starts here at the local level. The time to invest in nature is now.


About the Author:

Heidi has five years of non-profit and programming experience serving as Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon and the Panhandle Humane Society. She's incredibly passionate about TMPF's mission and her experience in managing educational programming helped the Students Stewards Program flourish since she began working here as AmeriCorps Program Director.


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