Every nature-lover has a story about a special time when they felt connected with our environment. Whether it’s a moment of healing, fascination, or even survival, all our stories remind us that we are part of the natural world. In her book Planted: Stories from Manitoba's Natural World NM member Kaitlin Vitt has collected the stories of eight local nature-lovers, both to preserve them and remind us that feeling connected with nature is fundamental to protecting it.
“Everyone I talked to reminded me of the importance of nature and of protecting our environment,” Vitt says. “This book shares individual stories, but overall they relate back to why we need to cherish nature — so we can all continue to have stories to tell, food to eat, and places to heal.”
You might recognize some of the names in the book. It features stories from Laura Reeves, John Morgan, and Richard Staniforth. It also features stories about traditional medicine, how nature is helping a grieving mother heal, and a unique story of survival that inspired Vitt to write the book.
“The story that inspired this entire project is Nadia Monaco’s,” Vitt says. “In 2010, she went searching for king bolete mushrooms in Stead, Man. but got separated from her picking party. She survived in the bush for two nights on her own, finding edible mushrooms and drinking swamp water.”
Vitt got her science degree from University of Manitoba, then decided to study journalism at Red River College. She hopes to become a science journalist, and hopes this book is a first step in helping more people see how natural history shapes our lives.
“It’s important to me to connect people and science, because I do sometimes see a disconnect,” she says. “At least in my experience, sometimes people don’t recognize or appreciate how science affects their everyday lives, and scientists forget to look at the big picture as to why their work matters. So writing this book was one small attempt to bridge this gap, and I hope I get the opportunity to continue doing work like this.”
You can learn more about the book at kaitlinvitt.com