One piece of advice my father gave me was to leave a place better than how I found it—for all our families. ©Eric Rock

Father’s Day is June 19 this year; and although my father is no longer with us, every year on this special day I reflect on some of the many things he taught and told me. One of his remarks that I’m particularly remembering this year is his counsel to “leave a place better than you found it; better for your having been there.”

That’s why the video below struck a personal chord with me. Not only does it touch upon some of my favorite topics—such as appreciating the things that cannot be captured in photos, how the simplest of snacks can taste like a five-star meal on the trail and a longing for the return of paper maps—but it advises us to leave our natural and wild places better than how we found them when we arrived.

A sandwich can taste like a five-star meal on the trail. ©From the video “Preserving America’s Favorite Places,” produced by NPCA

Perhaps my father was before his time. I think his long-ago admonition to me is catching on with the rest of the world. While we still hear about bad behavior around wildlife and in our national parks, campaigns such as “Leave No Trace” and “Zero Waste” are slowly teaching us how to become better stewards of the planet.

The video, titled Preserving America’s Favorite Places, was produced by the National Parks Conservation Association. Take a few moments to watch it, hopefully with your father.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,