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PLS Summer Recap

Becky, Sara and Matt at our ESA booth

Summer is winding down in our half of the world, so we thought we would take some time to reminisce on our summer travels. Plant Love Stories (PLS) hit the conference circuit this summer, attending the North American Conference on Conservation Biology in Toronto (NACCB), and the Ecological Society of America’s meeting in New Orleans (ESA).

At NACCB, we had a big crew of PLS co-founders. We gave out swag and hosted Plant Love Stories LIVE - our first ever live storytelling event, with six storytellers bravely sharing their plant love live in a packed bar :) You can read more about PLS live in PLS co-founder and PLS live story teller Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie’s post, On Story Telling, and hear some of the stories -- about treeforts and kelp love (yeah, we know it isn't exactly a plant) told live here.

At ESA, there were two of us repping PLS - Sara Kuebbing and Becky Barak (with help from Sara’s husband and PLS contributor, Josh Galperin - who doesn't hate plants). We were hosted by the ESA Communication & Engagement section, and we thank them so much for partnering with us! Conference attendees stopped by the booth to Sketch their Science. Some of these sketches (see below) were also #PlantLoveStories. Many attendees also chatted with us about PLS, shared their stories, and signed up for our raffle to win a PLS hat!

The stories we heard at ESA were fantastic and fascinating. Some visitors went straight back to childhood. Our very first conversation was with a conference attendee that told us how much she loved broccoli. Her parents made eating broccoli super fun as a kid, telling her to “shake off the baby koalas” before eating the tree. We heard from college students: one moved their banana tree across a tiny apartment throughout the day, following the sun; another’s family owned a farm that was slowly changing over parts of their fields from growing crops to growing wildflowers as they all learned more and more about plants.

We heard many #ScientistOriginStories about budding botanists falling in love with plants,. We talked to one attendee who became hooked on field work after studying carnivorous pitcher plants in Malaysia. And of course, the scientist that started to love botany after a class field trip to the Rutherford B. Hayes museum (Lizz's PLS is here!).

We also were thrilled to check out some serious botanical style:

One of our fans in the snazziest botanical shirt

Custom botanical earrings

Wilnelia made those plant-y earrings!

And it wasn’t just conference-attendees that shared their plant love stories. We heard from our bartender, Jane, at one of ESA’s social events all about New Orleans’ plants, pre- and post-hurricane Katrina. Jane told us about Peggy Martin’s single special rose plant that survived hurricane Katrina and went on to be used for garden restoration after the floods receded.

Hearing these stories reminded us again that everyone has a plant love story. That plants are part of our lives, and always connecting us to people and places we love. Please consider sharing your story.


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