Laurene Weste | A Refreshing Story

Laurene Weste
Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste

“Distilling what I learned, I came up with a kind of ultrasimple coda: Go outside, often, sometimes in wild places. Bring friends or not. Breathe.” – Florence Williams. 

It is hard not to love the outdoors when you live somewhere as beautiful as Santa Clarita. More than 12,000 acres of open space, 35 picturesque parks and a wonderfully designed trail system that entices residents and visitors alike to explore our community.  

The Santa Clarita Public Library is also enticing individuals to get outdoors this spring during its annual One Story One City program. Every March, the library, in collaboration with Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library, hosts One Story One City, inviting residents to read and celebrate one book. The goal of the program is to encourage discussion and program engagement for all ages.  

Previous book selections have included titles such as “Gods of Jade and Shadow,” “Ready Player One” and “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.” This year, residents will delve into the healing, calming and restorative properties of the nature that surrounds us while reading “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative” by prize-winning author Florence Williams. 

After spending so much time inside over the course of the ongoing pandemic, “The Nature Fix” comes as an appropriate story to remind us of the beauty of nature. Florence takes a light-hearted and sometimes humorous approach to investigating the benefits that nature has on our mental and physical health. From forest trails in Korea to islands in Finland, Californian trees and more, Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health and creativity. As society focuses more and more on technology, “The Nature Fix” serves as a critical reminder to disconnect from our devices and to reconnect with nature. 

In addition to reading this insightful book, I encourage you to take advantage of all the library’s One Story One City programming and events this March. Throughout the month, visit your nearest library branch to enjoy hands-on gardening with tea tins, coloring sessions for all ages and other fun crafts. Keeping to the theme of the book, residents will also have the opportunity to take part in a full moon hike event on the evening of Friday, March 18, in the city’s Golden Valley Ranch Open Space.  

Other outdoor activities include Open Space Volunteer Day, the Healthy Eating Fair with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and a Trail Tales Celebration event in Duane R. Harte Park. Residents can learn more about upcoming One Story One City events and activities by visiting 

As we step into the spring season, I urge residents to seize this opportunity to reconnect with nature. First, check out a paper, eBook or audiobook format of “The Nature Fix” by Florence Williams, then let your feet wander through our safe and scenic open spaces. This 2022 One Story One City book selection is both fitting and refreshing for our community that has seen many challenges over the past couple of years. You can discover more about “The Nature Fix” and the One Story One City program by monitoring 

Mayor Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]. 

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