Not only does this question serve as an excellent writing prompt, but some of my favorite LA writers are participating. Cheryl Klein has a blog post up and Kathy Talley-Jones is about to start an online interview I can't wait to check out.
|Breathing in the Deschutes.|
When I moved to Los Angeles, I wanted my students to have the chance to connect not only with books I loved, but also with nature. I learned that some of my students who lived inland had never been to the beach, and many of my students were unaware of the mountains surrounding our city. I began to see that I had been privileged to grow up around so much natural beauty. Many of my students had never seen a night sky splattered with more stars than they could count. Most of them had never been truly worried about being lost in the woods. They didn't know snow or lightning or thunder. These were tales of books we read, but not real experiences.
Over the past twenty years, I've tried to expose my students to nature. We've spent time at Clear Creek in Angeles Crest, Astro Camp in Idylwild, at Santa Monica Beaches, the Baldwin Hills Overlook, Runyun Canyon, and parks all over West LA, the Santa Monica and San Bernadino mountains. These spaces help remind us that even in this concrete and asphalt city, we are surrounded by beauty and nature. You just have to seek it out.
And now that I'm a Mom, I love taking my kids back to that forest and that river in Oregon, but that only happens a couple times a year. Most of our park adventures are local to the boat park or bee park by the beach. We go to the airport park or the big park. Or our vacations take us to parks like the ones in DC this paso summer.
Parks and books.
What's not to love about #parklit?