We hope turkey season is treating you all well! My 82-year-old father bagged this 27 lb. bird on opening day.
My parents understand the power of nature – they have been farmers for most of their lives. Being outside increases overall physical health and decreases stress and anxiety, all while lowering depression. For example, spending time in nature, conservation areas, backyards, and urban parks eases stress levels, plus increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.We know that conservation areas and nature center trails are playing a vital role in maintaining people’s health during the COVID-19 quarantine. Without them, some people wouldn’t have a special place to soak in the healing power of nature. Help us make sure these areas are maintained and preserved for all of us now and in the future.
– Tricia Burkhardt, MCHF Interim Director
SUPPORT YOUR NATURE AREAS
“Being outside is so healing,” explains Amanda Stapp, mother of three active boys and frequent visitor to Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City, Mo.
Just this week Amanda and sons Soren (9), Liam (6), and Conor (2) hiked several of the five winding trails through Runge’s 90 acres. The eager boys watched with excitement as a flock of wild turkeys strolled across the path in front of them.
While Runge has been a frequent destination for the Stapp family in the past, the outdoor trails have served as an oasis for this active troop during the current COVID-19 quarantine.
“The nature center trails have been a lifesaver! My three boys like being active! Here they can be safe without contact with others”, says Amanda.
The Stapp family is not alone in their desire to connect with nature during this nationwide health crisis. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has made provision for all area trails at its nature centers to remain open to the public during this critical time. In addition, over 1,000 MDC Conservation Areas around the state are open for hiking, spring mushroom hunting, nature exploration, fishing and a multitude of other outdoor pursuits. Find one near you. This allows families to comply with health advisories while still benefiting from being outdoors and having fun.
Although we can’t assign a price tag to this sort of benefit during an unprecedented health predicament, it does give us an opportunity to recognize the vital value of wild spaces so readily available to virtually all Missourians.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
How can you help sustain and enhance these “wild” experiences for your friends, families and neighbors? With your one-time or ongoing contribution to Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, you can ensure children like Soren, Liam and Conor can explore nature safely. Invite your friends, family and coworkers to join you in supporting nature areas. If you love visiting a specific nature area yourself, consider becoming our fundraising partner by creating your own page to raise money for your favorite nature area. Your investment helps families, like Amanda’s, continue to pull on their boots, wade in a creek, catch frogs and watch those turkeys.
CARES Act expands and provides new tax deduction to reward charitable giving
New Tax Deduction: Those who take a standard deduction (the vast majority) can deduct charitable donations up to $300 total from their adjusted gross income in 2020. This makes your adjusted gross income lower, which means your tax rate may lower.
Expanded Tax Deduction: Those who itemize deductions (about 10%) can now deduct more of their charitable giving cash contributions in 2020. The CARES Act allows charitable cash contributions to be deducted up to 100% of adjusted gross income, with any excess contributions available to be carried over to the next five years. In the past, it was limited to 60% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.
Ask your tax accountant for more details.