My name is Tiana Lopez, and I was born in Long Beach California, but I was raised all over the country, we moved very often during my childhood. I’m African American and Puerto Rican. My background influences my passion because my people are more adversely affected by health issues historically.
I moved to Reading, PA in 2018 three years after graduating from Shippensburg University with my degree in English, Writing, and background in Secondary Education. My other hobbies are all creative arts hobbies. I’m a poetry writer, nature photographer, and jewelry maker. I love working with art through natural materials of the earth whether it’s metal, crystals, or treasures found in nature. I also love to learn other languages and study food cultures. I already speak 2 languages and I’m currently learning Spanish. I use social media as my biggest platform through making artful educational videos on YouTube and building a network of environmentally conscious people through online connections.
In the last few years, I’ve witnessed three beautiful women close to me struggle with diseases. Our health systems as a society starting from the very soil on this earth to how we receive health care are too complex and imbalanced to place blame on anyone person or thing and yet, we are suffering. This is why I started gardening. One of my favorite quotes is “to build a garden is to believe in the future”. I don’t know who said it, but it continues to resonate with me. I believe the first way we can believe in our future is by investing in our health. One of the best ways to do that is by making healthy choices with our diet. To make healthy choices we need options. We need access to nutrient-rich, local vegetables which can be difficult to find in our city.
This Autumn through a partnership, GoggleWorks and Lauer’s Park Elementary have opened up a free give-and-take garden on North 2nd street. We’re extending our mission to provide local vegetables and nurture future growers by educating the youth in our classroom garden at the corner of Walnut and North 3rd street. I know that on a personal level I’m using this next chapter of my life to take care of my health, my household, my family, my community. I’m here to fully use my talents and purpose in a way that is impactful and nurturing. These gardens will bloom wellness, joy, creativity, and community. To the reader I say, come visit soon, please!
Tiana Lopez GoggleWorks Garden Manager
@CreativeTiana on all social media