Our friend Tyson really enjoys plants and being outside in nature. He wanted to have the experience of planting and caring for a real tree, in conjunction with a special book project that he is working on with his grandmother. They are collaborating to write story of hope and compassion that involves the history of immigration to the United States through Angel Island.
Tyson and his Paw Paw are excited to collaborate on this story of love, gratitude, and healing that bridges generations, with help from the natural world. Thanks to a project mini-grant from Roots and Shoots USA, we were able to purchase a cherry tree, soil and planter, and give Tyson some money to buy art supplies that he needs to create the illustrations for his storybook.
Through this project, we certainly learned a lot more about cherry trees! Andi’s cousin Todd, who is also an Angel Island descendant, absorbed a lot of knowledge about planting vegetables and fruit trees, passed on from his grandparents who tended their home gardens. Todd shared some very important advice with us about cherry trees— we would certainly need to purchase a second tree, if we wanted fruit in the future, because most sweet cherry trees do not self-pollinate without the help of honeybees. Jan suggested that we go to Green Acres in Elk Grove to look for some nice trees. Since we knew that Tyson would like to enjoy cherries with his friends, we purchased two trees – one cherry tree is a Bing; the other is a Lapin. Tracy, who works at Green Acres, offered Tyson some great tips on how to plant and care for his new cherry trees.
Good for All: Roots & Shoots Celebration 2023
When Dr. Jane Goodall came to the Oakland Zoo for the Good for All Roots & Shoots Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, there was time after her remarks for a Q & A session hosted by April Z, a freshman at UC Berkeley. We recorded the response to our question, “Do you have a favorite myth or story that you heard as a child, that you would like to share with future generations?” Of course, Dr. Jane wanted to share what she learned from animals, saying of her dog Rusty, “I think he was sent to teach me” because Rusty didn’t actually belong to her family, but lived in a hotel around the corner. “Out of nowhere comes… the most amazing intelligent dog that I’ve ever known.” The young protagonist in Tyson & Genny’s story finds an injured golden finch, which the boy names “Tien-si,” which means “Angel” in Chinese. The boy and the bird become friends on Angel Island.
Dr. Jane also answered a wonderful question from the 5th graders and their teacher Carol at San Dominico School asked “What student activism has made an impact on you? What story has stayed in your mind and your heart?” She responded with a moving story, about planting trees for the future, involving the first group of Roots and Shoots started in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
National Angel Island Day 2023 at the de Young Museum
In the coming weeks, Tyson will be picking out a few of his illustrations to share in a special pop-up exhibiton created for National Angel Island Day at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In 2010, former president Barack Obama proclaimed January 21 as National Angel Island Day, calling upon the people of the United States to “learn more about the history of Angel Island and to observe this anniversary with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
On January 21, 2023, the de Young Museum, Angel Island Immigration Station and UC Berkeley’s Future Histories Lab present a special free Saturday program, “Echoes from Angel Island” with The Last Hoisan Poets & Del Sol Quartet, dedicated to the ancestors and descendants of Angel Island immigrants. We invite the public to join us to learn more about Angel Island history through poetry, music and art, including Tyson’s illustrations for “The Bird from Heaven,” a story written by his grandmother, poet Genny Lim.
For the 2023 National Angel Island Day program, Genny will read her poem, The Journey, which closed Del Sol Quartet & The Last Hoisan Poets virtual presentation of Angel Island Insight for APICC’s United States of Asian America Festival 2021.
“The Journey” was originally written and performed as the concluding poem for Lenora Lee Dance’s Within These Walls, an integrated, multi-media contemporary dance project performed at the Angel Island Island Immigration Station in 2017.
Within These Walls, choreographed by Lenora Lee Dance, performed by the Berkeley Dance Project, directed by SanSan Kwan, will be presented at the Zellerbach Playhouse from February 23-26, 2023, in conjunction with UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design Initiative and Future Histories Lab’s project, A Year on Angel Island,
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit http://www.calhum.org
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
ANGEL ISLAND: IN SIGHT 2021 at the Angel Island Immigration Station is made possible with support from North East Medical Services (NEMS). https://www.nems.org/