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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter for April 2022

Mar 31, 2022 08:51PM ● By Dana Boulanger
Bees, butterflies, bats and birds—I look for them in my yard and along my power walks in nature. They are pollinators, and we humans desperately need them to survive. I’m expanding my wildflower garden this year with native plants and pollinator-friendly flowers like phlox and sunflowers. My goal is to replenish my backyard ecosystem (plus I love flowers). I plan to invite my granddaughter, an inquisitive toddler, to help me plant as well; growing flowers and veggies together is a fun way to introduce the next generation to the joys of gardening. I’ve also decided to grow some herbs, and maybe some potted tomatoes and cucumbers—my granddaughter loves cucumbers—but since my garden last year was not an enormous success, I’ll happily support our local growers too, with weekly shopping trips to the many wonderful farmers markets and farm stores in our region. I enjoy getting to know the people who grow my food. Many of my favorite shopping spots are in our local Foodie Guide on page 25. 

I hope our feature article, “Why We Need Wild Places,” by Sheryl DeVore (page 32), will inspire you as it inspired me. It got me thinking about my backyard; I’d like to learn more about how to get invasive plants under control and what native plants and wildflowers are best to grow. If you’ve had the same questions, you can find information from local experts in our news briefs and the display ads on the pages that follow. 

I grew up celebrating Earth Day by picking up litter. In fact I’m old enough to remember the first Earth Day, when the students in North Salem schools were loaded onto buses with teachers and garbage bags, and we were dispersed throughout the town to clean up trash. It made a huge impression on me and made me realize just how disrepectfully people treat our earth. It instilled in me a core value: pride of being a steward to our environment. Sadly, there’s still a lot of litter around, so even now on Earth Day and throughout the month of April, I pick up roadside garbage in my neighborhood and my town. I encourage you to celebrate Earth Day too. There are a few local festivities planned this year; you can find out about them on pages 20 and 21, and on our calendar, starting on page 44. The online calendar on our website,, has even more great happenings. Be sure to sign up for our email so you can get the “green-digital” version of Natural Awakenings delivered to your inbox monthly. 

While you’re out enjoying the spring sunshine, stop by and say hi to us at a two upcoming events. We are a proud media sponsor of the fourth annual Beauty, Health and Wellness Expo, happening April 9, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Renegades Stadium parking lot located at 1500 NY-9D, in Wappingers Falls. The expo is outdoors and family friendly, with free admission. We’re also pleased to sponsor the beloved Awaken Wellness Fair, which takes place this year on April 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel and Conference Center in Tarrytown. We look forward to seeing you at these inspiring community events. And if you’re feeling adventurous, may we suggest a trip to Saratoga Springs for the fifth annual Mind, Body, Soul Expo at the Saratogo City Center on April 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’ll be free admission and lots of fun!