My fondest childhood memories are of the vacations my family took during our summer breaks. They were never fancy affairs. We usually rented a car and spent a lot of time on the road, spending nights at motels along the route to our destination. One year, we drove from Southern California all the way to Vancouver, Canada. We passed through California, Oregon and Washington, making pit stops at national parks, museums and botanical gardens along the way. I remember seeing Crater Lake for the first time and feeling entranced by the deep blue color and stillness of the water. I remember visiting the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia and admiring the vastness of the botanic garden. Another year, we took a long road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I remember being curious but also slightly afraid of the geysers that gushed out of the ground and the colorful acid pools. Camping trips were common most summers at various state and national parks in California. I remember hiking to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite with my dad, with one eyelid swollen from a mosquito bite.
All these trips, although they were taken so long ago, created a lasting bond between myself and the environment. It is not surprising to me that my main source of inspiration is the beauty found in nature.
The Native Plant Project is a product of the bond I feel with our earth and is fueled by the urgency I feel about protecting it for future generations to enjoy and be inspired by. It is not enough that we have state and federally protected lands. It is not enough that we have park rangers and volunteers to care for and protect the lands. It is not someone else's problem. It is our problem. It is how we treat the environment. It is the example we set for the younger generation about being stewards of the environment. caring for it, not just in the protected areas, but in our everyday surroundings. It is about taking steps to ensure that our environment improves, not only preserving the status quo.
There is so much power in a name. The ability to recognize and identity plants in my locale has brought so much joy during my walks and hikes in San Diego. It also stirred a desire in me to ensure that the unique biodiversity in San Diego is preserved for future generations. To know the name of a plant is to form a bond. and My goal is to learn about the plants that make each location uni