Zipping into Spring

SimoneLipscomb (1)

Presenting my children’s book, The Gulf Oil Spill Story, to children at Gulf Shores Elementary School.

Over the past several years I have focused on tapping into creative energy through my writing and photography with the intention of promoting planetary stewardship. Additionally I have volunteered extensively for Share the Beach, Baldwin County Extension Service Master Environmental Educator program, Wolf Bay Watershed Watch Board, and my own environmental education programs presented to schools, libraries, scout groups, bookstores and other places. These have been some of the most rewarding years of my life with the intention of giving from my heart with the hope generating love and compassion for our beautiful planet and all life here.

Photo by Gulf Adventure Center Photography Staff

Photo by Gulf Adventure Center Photography Staff

This is all wonderful and soul-enriching work and yet….there are still expenses associated with living in our society. But how does a nature-lover, compassion-promoting, environmental gal like me find a place in the working world? I’m at a point in my life where finding meaning in the work I do is an absolute must. And I think I might have discovered a really good fit.

Working as park naturalist, circa 1985. Preparing for a hay ride for campers.

Working as park naturalist, circa 1985. Preparing for a hay ride for campers.

Gulf Adventure Center in Gulf State Park is in my old stomping grounds. As an outdoor recreation administrator and resource manager fresh out from college, I worked in Gulf State Park as the naturalist. In fact, I worked summers during high school and college there and walked into the naturalist position. It was the first professional leap into environmental education.

Photograph by Gulf Adventure Center photography staff.

Photograph by Gulf Adventure Center photography staff.

When an opportunity to work as a zip line guide came to me, I felt I had to give it a try. It was the ideal location, coming full-circle to my roots as an environmental educator, it was active and adventurous, and it presented an opportunity to empower people.┬áThe training provided me with an opportunity to get a feel for the job and now that I’m working as a guide, it is proving to fulfill my desire to do something that has meaning.

Photograph by Gulf Adventure Center photography staff

Photograph by Gulf Adventure Center photography staff

Yesterday a wonderful family went on a trip with another guide and me. I witnessed and assisted as the mom worked through a bit of fear to a point where she was comfortable and having fun zipping from tower to tower. Being outdoors, celebrating sunshine and family, the beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Shelby, dolphins leaping and playing made for a perfect trip.

Helping people have fun outdoors and get physically active is awesome! It’s hard work, it doesn’t pay six figures, but every day I am there, I have an opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives and promote environmental education and stewardship in a fun way.

SimoneLipscomb (3)In the short time I’ve been there I’ve zipped the course in pouring rain, wind, sunshine and every time it has been great. I hope to see some of you there and if not there at some other place outdoors. We’ll celebrate the beauty of our planet together!

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