Recommended Resources for Building Environmental Stewardship
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See Also: Inspiring Stewardship

A man contemplates as he reads a book in nature
George Handley reflects on nature in his writing, drawing upon local treasures—like Rock Canyon, pictured here—for inspiration. He has written Home Waters, a memoir about the Provo River; The Hope of Nature: Our Care for God’s Creation, a collection of inspiring essays; and American Fork, a nature-intertwined novel. Photo by Bradley Slade.

“Loving God in His creations, and because of His creations, and taking care of His creations are central to being a disciple of Christ ,” says George B. Handley, a BYU humanities professor who specializes in environmental literature. He recommends the following resources to build and deepen a faith-based sense of stewardship for the earth. 

1. Braiding Sweetgrass, a nonfiction reflection by Robin Wall Kimmerer, explores how the natural world and spirituality are tightly woven together. As a Native American single mother and botanist, Kimmerer gives unique insight on the connection between motherly and environmental stewardships. 

2. Handley calls Charles Shirō Inouye’s (’76) Zion Earth Zen Sky “one of the most beautiful books I’ve read.” In this memoir Inouye draws on his Japanese and Buddhist heritage, as well as his Latter-day Saint conversion, to explore connections between the material and spiritual. 

3. Handley recommends watching the “lovely documentary” The Biggest Little Farm as a family. It’s about a couple who trade urban life for a country farm, where together they learn to live in harmony with nature by both caring for and being cared for by their land. 

Image of recommended book, "Braiding Sweetgrass," by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Courtesy of Milkweed Editions
Image of recommended book, "Zion Earth Zen Sky," by Charles Shiro Inouye.
Courtesy of Neal A. Maxwell Institution
Image of Recommended Film, "the Biggest little Farm," by Farmlore Films.
Courtesy Farmlore Films