April is a month full of nature! It’s Native Plant Appreciation month, Plant Appreciation Day is on April 13 and Earth Day is April 22.
This month, we asked our staff of color and culture how they connect with nature, plants, gardening and books:
"I connect with plants and nature by growing some of our family's favorite fruits and vegetables in my garden. Along with growing our favorites, we plant to attract pollinators and engage wildlife. Gardening runs deep in my family roots; my grandparents relied on gardening in the former Soviet Union to sustain the food supply after World War II. They carried on their passion for growing edible and medicinal plants even as they established their lives here in the US."
— Angela Tveretinova, Russian and Ukrainian materials selector
"My father was a migrant worker; later, he worked in forestry. He grew up moving around following the crops and learned about edible wild plants from his godparents; they used these plants e.g., verdolaga and quelites, to supplement their diet…Books are great to learn about topics such as gardening and plant identification and I have used them for that purpose.”
— Enrique Rivera, bilingual Spanish library outreach specialist
“I started to plant all the medicinal herbs that were familiar to me, especially herbs with non-caffeine teas. It warms my heart to know that I have a small herbal garden that provides for my cooking, hot or cold drinks, light pains and even homesickness. Herbs bring a lot of color, wonderful smells, memories, bees and hummingbirds to my home.”
— Sandi Plesha, bilingual Spanish clerk
"I look to the land, nature and plants to restore my equilibrium and to counteract being overly stimulated. I learned from watching my parents, as a child, who restored themselves in nature. My mom would commune with the ocean by standing at the water's edge and opening her arms. My pops would drive out to the beach and take long, solitary walks that I'd sometimes get to come along with. I moved to Oregon because of the land here, and to Portland because of its proximity to nature."
— Isa Dean, Black Cultural Library Advocate and technology program specialist
"I am in awe of and so thankful for our communities of color in the Pacific Northwest who are doing work to steward, cultivate, protect and restore the proliferation of native plants and agriculture! I spend every chance I can learning about creating thriving habitats for birds, pollinators, and healthy waterways. Spring-time walks exploring garden-scape designs, quiet days on damp hikes, poking around fallen trees, resting in neighborhood parks, and simply listening to the rainfall are my favorite things to do. I feel safest, most at rest and full of joy when I'm anywhere outside."
— Brittany Gadbury Wade, Black Cultural Library Assistant
Spend time outdoors this April—grab your favorite book from our list of recommendations and celebrate nature!
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