A child who took a pinecone from a national park returned it to the rangers with a sweet note detailing how sorry they were for taking it.
Staff at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California shared the photo from the young visitor on Facebook, where it has since been shared over 1,000 times.
The child sent the pinecone, which is technically a Giant Sequoia cone, back along with this note:
To whom it may concern:
I took a pine cone out of the forest and I wanted to return it. I hope it will be placed near the General Grant tree because that is where I took it. I am sorry for my decision. Thank you.
Staff said they much appreciated the gesture because it is very important not to take things home from the park.
It is technically against park rules to take pinecones out of the park because they are part of its ecosystem. "It's a tough environment here," staff wrote. "The animals need their nibbles and the area needs the seeds and vegetation. Also, cones and other plants deteriorate and help to create soil in this rocky environment."
"We are so glad this young person thought about the park's preservation messages," the staff wrote. "Thanks for leaving Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks as you found them."
Many people commented that the child's parents had the right idea by making them send the cone back.
"Great parenting! You are raising a good and responsible citizen," one person wrote.
Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Stephanie McNeal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.