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Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Poop Fairy.

May 13, 2020

“Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies!”
- Francis Pharcellus Church in his editorial from the New York Sun (September 21,1897) responding to an inquiry from 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon.

DEAR DEPT OF PARKS AND RECREATION:  I am 50 years old. Some of your signs say there is no Poop Fairy. But lately, I’ve seen things in the woods that make me wonder. People tell me that if you read it on the internet, it’s so. Please tell me the truth; is there a Poop Fairy?


VIRGINIA & Friends, the signs you read are wrong. They are there for those who are from out of town and out of touch with the natural world. They do not believe that small things like dog poop on a hiking trail make any difference in the grand scheme of things.

They have good intentions of picking up those colorful trailside bags of crap on their way back from their adventures. They don’t want to be inconvenienced with the stinky, unsightly packages any longer than necessary. All people, Friend, whether city-dweller or small town ecologist, have good intentions.

Good intentions, however, do not keep our trails clean. They do not protect our streams and rivers. They do not inspire us with the incomprehensible beauty that Nature provides for us when she is not littered with orange peels, poop bags, and cigarette butts.

Yes, Friend of VIRGINIA, there is a Poop Fairy. She exists as certainly as love and wisdom and appreciation for the earth exists.  There are more Poop Fairies in your midst than you can imagine. They are all around us and give us reason to hope for the future of humanity.

Not believe in the Poop Fairy! You might as well not believe in Santa Claus! The most real things in the world are those that move us to care, to act, and, when Ignorance and Apathy precedes us, to clean up the mess it left behind.

No Poop Fairies! Thank God! they are real. Perhaps, if we celebrate and acknowledge them, a thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, they will continue to steward this beautiful planet that we call home.

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