My Relationship with Nature

My name is Meg Pierce and I am an Environmental Engineer based in the Greater Boston suburbs of Massachusetts. I spend nearly all of my free time outside, skiing (touring, alpine, telemark, and nordic classic), hiking, mountain biking, climbing, fishing and boating.

Words and Photos by Meg Pierce

Looking at my very active life and love of the outdoors, my parents can’t help but laugh. For a short time as a baby, I hated the feeling of grass so much that I would lift my legs up if they held me over the lawn, trying to avoid any contact with the ground. Thankfully that phase ended quickly.

I didn’t grow up in the most adventurous family but we were active and spent lots of time outdoors, which helped  foster my love of nature. My neighborhood abutted woods with a large pond. I often would come home soaking wet and muddy because I wadded into the water just a bit too far trying to catch frogs and turtles. My sister and I spent the summers camping with my grandparents, visiting the Adirondack Mountains of New York, attending summer camps, and taking lots of day trips to various lakes and beaches. I loved fishing with my dad and grandpa, never afraid to put my own worm on the hook or hold the fish I caught. I was fascinated when my grandpa taught me how to clean trout at a young age, showing me what the fish ate earlier that day. 

I was a very energetic, inquisitive, active kid and loved exploring the great outdoors ruled only by nature itself, climbing trees, building tree forts, and creating my own adventures.

Spending time outside in nature has always provided me with a sense of freedom. When I was young, it was the independence and self-reliance that drew me in. Unsupervised time in my neighborhood woods allowed me to build confidence, use my imagination, and learn responsibility.

Now, as a working professional, being out in nature offers me a place to clear my mind and be free of all life’s responsibilities.

It is hard to put into words how important nature is to me, and what a huge role it plays in my life. Simply put, I spend all of my free time outside. It is what fuels my soul, and every day I ensure I make time to  get outside and spend time doing the things I love. Being out in nature lets me get all of my energy out, and there’s a lot of it. It allows me the opportunity to challenge myself,  reduce my stress, improve my mood, and, most of all, it is where I pursue my passions. Although it’s harder to make time during the work week,

“I am a champion of micro-adventures; things close to home that don’t require a huge time commitment.”

My weekdays include local hikes, short trail runs, early morning skins, after work climbs, and mountain biking local trails. The views may never be as stunning as those of the mountains up north, and sometimes it means getting up earlier or adventuring by headlamp in the evenings, but it’s always worth it. 

It was no surprise to my family that I became an Environmental Engineer. I have the technical mindset of an engineer, and my career pairs this well with my interest in the environment. Although my current position focuses on mitigating flood risk through reservoir operations, I have also been lucky enough to assist in projects relating to climate change studies. A few years ago I went to Yakutat, Alaska and installed remote, real time data collection equipment to measure glacial change at Hubbard Glacier. 

For me, recognizing and appreciating the stunning beauty of the earth, the many natural resources it provides, and all of the recreational opportunities that it offers also means shouldering the responsibility to protect and save the planet. 

About Megan

Meg is an environmental engineer from New England who loves being outside and on the go. She is an avid skiier, hiker, rock climber, mountain biker, and boater who brings lots of energy and enthusiasm to her adventures. Meg is passionate about encouraging, enabling, and expanding access for everyone to participate in outdoor recreation.

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