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Favorite Books, Podcasts and Videos

  • The Pollinator Victory Garden by Kim Eierman
    • Contributor: Kate Kruesi
    • Kate’s testimonial: This is the best book to get you started replacing some of your lawn with native plants and provide more habitat for insect and bird diversity. It helps you every step of the way and motivates! She makes it seem simple to bring more nature back into our landscapes! Learn more about all the topics this author covers.
  • Why is the world so beautiful? An Indigenous botanist on the spirit of life in everything by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • Contributor: Andrea Todd
    • Andrea’s testimonial: I really appreciate the perspective of Kimmerer, author, and Indigenous scientist, who presents the value of natural bodies, places, and organisms as living and animate and with natural, cultural, and personal value, but importantly, natural places and organisms are considered as more than a resource to be used, or taken advantage of, but living and giving, as well as receiving our thoughts, considerations, conversations, and respect. These are what Kimmerer calls Earthly Gifts. It has me thinking about how the Sea Caves and Arthur Park offer this unique direct access to share the value, and consider the natural space for what is provided, but also for what it needs. What does the earth ask of us? This unique space in Burlington has layers of geologic, indigenous culture, agricultural and natural history. But Kimmerer’s perspective has me thinking about what ways humans interact with this natural space. What ways are we inviting the conversation with the living space? What is the Abenaki experience of this area? What can we learn from the Abenaki about the historical and modern needs for this space? What conversations and considerations can we engage in? What does the earth ask of us?
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • Contributor: Tori Hellwig
    • Tori’s testimonial: I love that this book approaches life on many levels, speaking to both indigenous knowledge and western scientific knowledge. Kimmerer beautifully describes the significance of multiple ways of knowing and engaging with our natural world. The book is also organized into nice stories, within themed “chapters,” ending with a call to action!
  • Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare by Paul A. Colinvaux
    • Contributor: Sonia DeYoung
    • Sonia’s testimonial: This is an absolutely fascinating book of essays on ecology, written by Paul Colinvaux in an engaging and conversational style that anyone can understand. Each chapter poses a question and seeks to answer it, most of which I had never even thought to ask before. Why isn’t the open ocean full of plants? Why aren’t there any predators alive today the size of T. rex? The last chapter looks at humans in ecological terms and discusses the problem of overpopulation in ways I had never thought about. Science writing at its best!
  • Ira Allen: Founder of Vermont by James Benjamin Wilbur
    • Contributor: Gary De Crolis
    • Gary’s testimonial: This is a two volume biography of Ira Allen’s life. It has been recognized as likely the most thorough biography of Ira Allen. It was actually published in 1928! As someone who wants to read everything I can get my hands on about this great city of ours I found this biography fascinating. For example, Ira Allen did the first survey of our city. Besides founding UVM he made it clear that the University Green should be created in perpetuity and run from Pearl Street to Main Street! Thank you Ira.
  • Untamed
    • Contributor: Kristen
    • Kristen’s testimonial: UNTAMED is a new podcast put together by a small, local nonprofit. The podcast is a place where wildlife advocates speak freely about wildlife protection in Vermont.
  • Gather
    • Contributor: Patrick Dunseith
    • Patrick’s testimonial: This movie is an inspiring look at the fight for food sovereignty through the eyes of indigenous people throughout the US.
  • The Big Year
    • Contributor: Gustave Sexauer
    • Gustave’s testimonial: Some well known actors get really invested in birding. An unintended undertone is how much resources can be spent by single people to see imperilled resources. Despite this, it is still a heartwarming, funny movie.
  • Nature Documentaries to Watch this Winter
    • Contributor: Heather Fitzgerald
    • Heather’s testimonial: When I set out to write about family-friendly nature documentaries, I think I expected to find that there was a cannon–classics that everyone in the know has watched. In fact, it doesn’t really seem like there is, but here are some great suggestions from the naturalists I know.

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