September riverbank neighbors news

Riverbank Newsletter Saturday, Sept 3, 2022

Today many Riverbank Neighbors are at Waters Garden, working together to maintain the garden there.  Please visit WaterEcology.org to learn about the changes there. Over a thousand people have signed the petition to bring back Pete as steward of the garden and to finish negotiations for his job status. All the money was raised for ecology, but it’s been reallocated to other things. Last week, Pete and another Waters alumni and parent, testified to the CPS board asking for their advocacy saving Waters Ecology Program, which is a national model for excellence in environmental education.  Waters has been visited by educators from around the country and the world. 
Here’s the link to view their testimony: A 55 page page packet of supporting documents was submitted along with this testimony. Pete Leki speaks to the CPS Board of Education (2min) then Meg Ford (2 min) https://youtu.be/Iw0kI_YxOuA?t=9349
All are invited to advocate to offer their support in whatever way they can. Now is the time to protect environmental leaders and stewards of the land who some with to diminish or ban. Many are afraid of losing their jobs or retaliation against their children, but please find a way.

Today, we are sharing that our longtime community member and friend, Ann Breen-Greco, will soon be moving away.  Ann has been a core member of Riverbank Neighbors and has spent her life being a role model as an activist for justice, peace, women’s rights, and so many good causes. She showed the way, she is a mother and grandmother and true friend to many. I am personally deeply grateful for Ann, as a community leader, a mentor, and as a friend.  I look forward to her future visits and thank her for being so strong, intelligent, visionary, and wise.  We will miss you Ann. You are loved. Please keep in touch and visit us. 

Ann asked us to share that she is holding an estate sale this morning, Saturday, 9/3/22 from 9AM to 3pm at her home, 4123 N. Maplewood (1/2 block south of Berteau near the river)

Tomorrow, Sunday, Sept 4, 2022 There’s a Riverbank morning 9-11. We’ll host a flower walk and start our plant inventory for the project described below.  After, we’ll share lunch.

Wednesday, Riverbank Neighbors will have “Seeds and Weeds” from 5:30 to 7:15. which is a different kind of riverbank event, shorter, on weekdays. 
Jules

msg from Pete below:(written for Waters community, but sharing with RBN)

Hello Dear Friends, Twenty+ people showed up at the garden on Wednesday night to work, play and enjoy food and music. We repaired a broken bench, pulled wheelbarrows of bindweed,  pruned the Ninebark (native shrub), raked the grass around the fire circle, removed the grape netting and harvested the last of the grapes in Journeys and Refuge Garden, and more. We made a small fire and cooked quesadillas, and Jeff, a school dad, serenaded us on guitar, while bats swooped overhead. All school families, friends and neighbors are welcomed. Tomorrow, Saturday September 3, from 9:00 until noon, we will meet again at the garden to do more garden tasks, including the beginning of our Floristic Quality Assessment! This scientific tool will allow us to qualitatively and quantitatively score our native plant community restoration. We will end up with an index number so that we can compare our garden with other restoration sites, and with itself, over time. Tomorrow we will begin identifying every native plant in the garden, creating a list, looking up the plant’s scientific name and Coefficient of Conservatism (C number). This number ranges from 0 -10, 0 being plants that, tho native, are weedy and aggressive, to 10, plants that will not tolerate disturbance of their very particular habitat and community. The list is then analyzed mathematically to come up with a score. We know, from decades of study and work, that our garden is fabulously rich, ecologically speaking. Beginning with our ancient oaks, whose roots have held on to the mycorrhizal fungal associations necessary for a healthy native plant community, to the effects of 25 years of prescribed burns, our garden hosts at least 120 native species. It is an ecological, historical, educational, cultural and community treasure, nurtured by generations of school families and friends.  So, join us and learn and enjoy these wonderful waning days of summer. And for those of you who can’t get enough, we will be working on the Riverbank on Sunday, 9-11:00.
Mr. Leki
Sometimes we have to change the schedule due to rain or heatwave or other unforeseen event. Check the website calendar for updates, rain dates, or any scheduling changes on the day of the event.  We usually meet at Berteau unless indicated otherwise, on the east side of the Chicago River.