The Mystery of Trees and Our Connections

A PASA collaborative program with the Botanical Gardens
SLO Botanical Garden – Children’s Garden
Saturday, May 22, 2021

May 22nd, 9 am – 12 pm 


Includes a full-day pass to the Botanical Garden
Please bring $3.00 for parking

Join us for a morning of nature and exploration at the beautiful SLO Botanical Gardens. We’ll be connecting to the mystery of trees, those gentle giants, companions, and teachers in our midst.  We will learn how we connect with trees – as food, fiber, and building material – and how this relates to our connection to the environment, our home, and planet earth. We will learn that there’s no well-being without nature’s well-being – it’s a reciprocal relationship and web.

Just as seeds are planted in the soil around us, the seeds of wisdom, understanding, and compassion are planted in our minds and hearts.  And it is our hope that children will answer the call to take responsibility as stewards and caretakers for protecting one another, the trees, and our home, Earth as we plant acorns to grow into mighty oaks at the BG. 

This family event is geared towards children in elementary school, however, those with children younger and older will benefit as we discuss the cycles of plant growth, reproduction, and ethnobotanical history, emphasizing the mighty oaks.

Brandon Hurd is an engineer (BS+MS) by training and an “ecologist cowboy” by self-driven interests to join the revolution in regenerating land and reconnecting with food. He is a part of The Lavra community farm as a garden and livestock manager and will receive his Permaculture Design Certificate from Santa Cruz Permaculture this spring. Currently, he is researching sustainable communities, agroecology, and ethnobotany.

Dee DiGioia  is a wholistic educator, life-skills coach, and founder of “Mindful Kindful YOUniversity” which offers mindfulness-based social-emotional learning programs in schools and communities for youth (and adults) to learn the essential life skills and foundation for resilience, happiness, and health & well-being. Having worked with children for nearly 40 years, including special education, and having discovered the tools to support her own mental health, Dee advocates for mindfulness and mental health education to be integrated as an essential component in our schools and communities. She has pioneered programs in schools for bullying intervention, compassionate leadership, and mindfulness. Dee is a passionate life-long learner and has trained and continues to deepen training in the sciences of Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga, Positive Psychology, Eco (Nature) Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Psychology, and more. Dee is overjoyed to collaborate with “Peace Academy” to inspire youth to become peacemakers and changemakers who will positively contribute to a thriving, resilient, compassionate, and peaceful world – by understanding their own inner nature and well-being which will positively impact connections and relationships to everyone and everything in the world around them.

To learn more about Mindful Kindful YOUniversity, visit