A Sky Island Love Letter from 6th Grader Lucy Goepfrich

A few months ago, as I was reading through the notes that were left with the end-of-year donations given to Sky Island Alliance, I came across this one from a young Lucy Goepfrich:

“I like how you are helping the environment and protecting wildlife. I also like how you are giving the world a chance to live without human threats. From Lucy, 6th grader in Tanque Verde”

After reading this note, I just had to know more about Lucy! I worked with Lucy’s mother Deb and was able to ask Lucy a few questions about herself, her interests, and the future.

Caption: Lucy Goepfrich, 6th Grader at Agua Caliente Elementary in Tanque Verde. Photo credit: The Goepfrich family.

Could you introduce yourself?

My name is Lucy Goepfrich (Gep-frich), and I am 11 years old. I go to school at ACES (Agua Caliente Elementary). I have one funny/annoying brother and I have three cats named Yoda, Gandalf and Zeus. Some hobbies I have are reading, drawing, hiking with friends, and playing with my brother. I also like playing after school with the other after-school kids.

What kind of wildlife do you love and why?

The wildlife I love most are the animals that keep the food chain in balance (coyote, bobcat, bear, mountain lion, hawks, javelina, and snakes) and the plants that feed those animals, and help us breathe. I may not like the ants who are everywhere, but I do know that they play a VERY important part in life, and we couldn’t survive without them. I also love the land where the wildlife roam, but it hurts to see trash in their environment.

What is your favorite place in the Sky Islands and why?

My favorite place is the Chiricahua Mountains because I thought it was interesting to hike to the top of one with my family, seeing the most awesome views and hearing funny stories of cowboys from my dad. I also enjoyed it when we were near the top and found raspberries on the side of the trail. When we were almost at the top, the trail seemed to be gone, so we climbed the rest of the mountain up a steep hill. At the top, we saw Cochise Head, had a snack, and rested. A while later, it started to sprinkle, so we started down the mountain back to the campsite. We also enjoyed playing in the river that was flowing.

What is important to you about the future of the Sky Islands?

Next time when I go up to the Sky Islands, I would like to continue seeing the animals thrive in their natural habitat, and the streams that flow and give water to the plants and animals. I also enjoy seeing all the beautiful kinds of trees that people don’t see in the desert. I also really hope that people don’t keep building houses and shops up there, because if there are too many buildings, it won’t be a wildlife place, it would be a city.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

What I want to do when I grow up is talk to people about pollution and other things that harm the environment, and maybe talk to students about pollution too, so they can grow up caring about wildlife. There is one thing that worries me. I am a kid worried about my future. Because what if I barely get to live my life, and people ruin it for me and other kids, because their pollution hurts this world so much that no one will live. I don’t understand why people pollute the Earth when all it did was keep you alive. I also thought that people are the most dangerous things on Earth. They kill animals, they pollute, they pave over beautiful landscapes. That is why I am happy to live in a world where some people care a lot about the Earth and want others to care about it too.