For newcomers, the riverbank neighbor project, ecosystem, and community are often underestimated. This isn’t beginner stuff. We need to dive into this deep study to learn and practice stewardship of our local ecosystem. When Riverbank Neighbors started, there were not native gardens in the parks and parkways as there have started to be now. We have been doing this for over 20 years. Our gardening days include: Seed gathering, watering, planting, fence fixing, sign making, and yes, being support crew for our annual prescribed fires… Many regional experts visit our gardens and offer their support and advice, which we appreciate and rely upon. We are teaching, mentoring, and still learning too. We do our best to put special effort into learning and relearning how to be allies to our neighbors in environmental justice. We invite you to join us.
We may also be also experts at appreciating the beauty of nature and community. It’s a joy. It’s not always easy. There have been bumps in the road. Sometimes gardens we plant are ruined by thoughtless behavior. Sometimes community ties become strained. We made it through the pandemic, not without loss. But healing is always possible. Gardens can be watered and new seedlings will grow with new hope. We are grateful to all for their longtime efforts. Many many have contributed to this project. We remember you Jerry, Kevin, Julia, Bill, Michael, Laurene, Lisa W, and so so many more.. and we know this is not our land. We have passed a resolution called the Land Acknowledgement. Perhaps you haven’t read it or heard of Land Acknowledgements yet. If not, please search it up on our website or elsewhere. Its a beautiful step and an incomplete one.
We hope to see you at the riverbank. If you see anyone tending the riverbank, please say hello and thank them. They are your neighbors. One of the saddest thing is when people walk by without a hello or with disdain. It happens. I’ve had people ask me to take their trash instead of saying hello. I asked why. Because they thought I was “a worker.” huh. yes, I am a worker. We are all workers. and neighbors. Say hello. And we, once again, thank you for all the wonderful things you do to care for your families, this community, the greater family of humankind, and our whole living earth.
Happy Equinox everyone…
(one of the rbn stewards and co-leaders for 20+ yrs)