A Life-Long Love Affair With Nature

By: 
Dan Puskar

01/23/2008

Lady Bird Johnson spurred our nation to beautify its communities, highways, and parks by planting and nurturing native flowers. To honor her legacy, the National Park Foundation created First Bloom - a project that helps kids get their hands dirty.

On Sunday night, the opening “First Bloom Workshop” began with celebration and humility as Boys and Girls club leaders, plant conservation experts, park biologists, foundation officers and education specialists gathered at the Lyndon Baines Johnson National Historical Park in Texas.

Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of the former President and Lady Bird Johnson, offered a special tour of her family home - now a national park - known as the “Texas White House”. She also shared her hope that First Bloom will inspire a life-long love affair with nature for today’s children, the same love affair her mother began as a young girl in Texas.

Through First Bloom they will learn how to protect fragile ecosystems by planting native species in our national parks and how to create and tend gardens in their own neighborhoods. This opening Workshop is designed to provide all members of the First Bloom team with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist children in their own communities with their gardens.

Workshop attendees come from the first five cities that will host the First Bloom project: Austin, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC. During the workshop, participants are learning about native plant gardening, garden design, native plant resources, and garden installation. The Workshop continues thorough Thursday.