November 8, 1857: Kate Sessions: THE TREE LADY

Kate Sessions
November 8, 1857 – March 24, 1940

by H. Joseph Hopkins
Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate
Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush,
leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens.

Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After
all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern
California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the
University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a
teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were
almost no trees.

Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more
than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly
started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green,
garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate
first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found
all over the city.

Part fascinating biography, part
inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your
dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity
is sure to resonate with readers young and old.

May 24 Birthday: Ynes Mexia

Ynes Mexia, botanist
May 24, 1870-July 12, 1938

How We are Smart by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Sean Qualls (Lee & Low Books, 2006)

Mexia discovered a new passion when she was 51. Botany. And thanks to her, more than 500 species of plants were discovered.

A very brief biographical sketch of Mexia is available on the Online Archive of California.