This event is a part of a new initiative called “Ward Night Out” that brings neighborhood updates and ward services directly to neighbors. You will also have the opportunity to learn how you can get involved in environmental issues locally, and meet other neighborhoods who are committed to addressing the climate crisis.
Tomorrow, April 3, we scheduled a possible burn and workday at the River (at Berteau). The weather is “iffy” for a burn, but we will be ready if a window opens. There is plenty of other work to do, so please join us. If we do proceed with a burn, please keep children well away from the fire, so they won’t be in harms way and we won’t be worried and distracted. The workday is scheduled from 12-2. If you can help set up, please come early (11:30, 11:45.) It might be that the wind shift happens at 2:00, meaning that we might burn after the workday. Please stand by.
These a really spectacular little film clips. Please share them with your family and your block club list. The clips show the larger effort that our work is inspired by, the North Branch Restoration Project. more to come.. https://northbranchrestoration.org/
Many thanks to all who attended our workday last weekend.
We prepped the riverbank for the coming burn, shared news, met new neighbors, had a beautiful day in the sun, and sang songs.
We also said a collective prayer (secular/non-denominational expression of intention) to protect those who are maintaining chernobyl, holding them in our hearts, hoping they could be protected and allowed to switch shifts and kept safe. We know almost everyone is very worried, but lets look to the good people, the heros, the helpers, the healers.. and the those working to keep us safe .. to keep our spirits up.
Sunday, March 20, 2022 11-12 Riverbank workday, 12-1 gather for fire, community, and small ceremony of hope, details below.
Tomorrow, Sunday, March 20th, Riverbank Neighbors invites you to our first riverbank event of 2022, from 11:00 until 1:00 to observe the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring and the official end of Winter. Soon, the spring flowers will come!
At 11, we’ll meet at the east side of the river and Berteau, and from 11 to noon, we’ll have a short workday and do some path maintenance and prep for a planned prescribed burn of the riverbank at the end of the month.
After the workday, at noon, we will gather around a fire and share news and have a small ceremony of hope.
In the past, many members of Riverbank Neighbors have been activists for environmental, social justice, and peace. Many are still doing that work or looking for ways to do so. And so, Sunday, after our workday, at noon, we will have a small campfire to gather and share news and gather for a ceremony, to light candles of hope for protection of all humanity from the violence of war and, for peace, for protection for the precious staff at Chernobyl in their most important duty, for the protection of all refugees, from everyplace in the world where people struggle to protect their children and loved ones in need.
We will light candles in hope of healing and peace in the world and in our own community, Riverbank Neighbors. If anyone would like to join us in song, we will sing together, one healing song, of hope for the children, for a harmonious future where everyone is welcome, where everyone has value, where forgiveness is possible and where there are no enemies. We hope you will join us.
Thank you to all who attended our Controlled Burn Support Crew Training. It was very exciting be joined by so many from the Montrose Metra Garden! We’ll share that video in another email soon.
We have been conducting prescribed burns of our native gardens on The riverbank for the past 20 years. They are awesome events, and a humbling experience to witness the intense power of fire on landscapes. Prairies, savannas, and oak woods are fire evolved ecosystems. Without fire, they would evolve into different ecosystems (in historic times, they would evolve into mixed forests including fire intolerant trees. In modern times they would devolve into weird mixes of invasive species and aggressive natives). We will be conducting controlled burns at Waters and at the Riverbank this spring. If you would like to learn more about the science, procedures, and safety techniques that are employed during a burn, you are invited to a Burn Workshop (via Zoom) on Wednesday, February 23 at 6:00. Attendance at this workshop is required if you would like to join our burn crew on the day of the actual burn. We are lucky to have a number of certified burn crew members and a wealth of experience in our community who will be joining the presentation. We have permits in hand from the Illinois EPA. We are ready to go. Join us! Here is the invitation: https://www.evite.com/event/020FDWYRCWGYXAK26EPMROKFW5SW3A/activity?utm_campaign=send_sharable_link&utm_source=evitelink&utm_medium=sharable_invite
Our Annual Burn Training will be virtual this year. Wednesday, Feb 23rd, 6pm. Please attend if you’d like to help be the support crew for the controlled burn of the native gardens at the Riverbank at Berteau and/or Waters Garden.
Many in our community have decades of experience and/or certification or professional experience in controlled burns. This training is aimed specifically at preparing our community to burn our sites, but may be of interest to anyone who manages native gardens or who wants to learn more. We invite you to join us. We’ll share some instructions along with video clips to show what to expect and how to participate safely in this exciting part of native garden management.
This meeting is hosted by Pete Leki, Ecology teacher at Waters, Sarah Anderson (Env Ed Program director at the Nature Museum, and Jules Peterson Green of Riverbank Neighbors. We hope that many other neighbors with experience will also join to share their expertise. If you have been burning with us for years, we’ll give you the opportunity to share some advice or stories. Newcomers will enjoy hearing from you and we hope you’ll join us.
Pete Leki is also the Ecology teacher at Waters, where the garden community have been stewarding and burning their community native gardens for over 20 years.
The Controlled Burn Support Crew Training will take place online on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, on Zoom. Please sign up here and we will send you a link in email. Please look for that email.
The land sleeps under a blanket of snow. Native seeds that we, and the other plants, have scattered are undergoing the alchemy of stratification, the setting of the switch for future growth brought on by sub-freezing temperatures. The snow on trees and dried stems is a spectacular treat in these isolated times. Before we know it, the snows will be gone, the remains of last years’ plants will dry, and we will, once again, prepare to conduct controlled burns on the river bank. We have now done this for more than 20 years! Burning is essential to the maintenance of native plant ecosystems: removing invasive species, darkening the ground, and dusting the soil with minerals bound up in the stems and duff. We will be having an on-line training for new and return volunteers who would like to participate. I myself find it very valuable to review the procedure and be reminded of the seriousness and heavy responsibility we accept when we do this burn. A number of veteran burn leaders will present, and we invite experienced neighbors to join us to add their experiences to this workshop.
Dear Riverbank Neighbors! This is it for schedule stewardship days for the year! 11:00 until 1:00, Sunday, November 21, 2021.
Maybe we will have a few special activities: a fire to celebrate the Winter Solstice, a gathering to consider next year’s work, prescribed burn training, the lovely strains of a musician’s instrument sounding out over the waters, and other reasons to get together to celebrate our community and work.
For tomorrow we will gather at Berteau Ave until 11:15, then walk around to the Horner Park side to gather grass and legume seeds to spread on the east bank. Easy, relaxing, beautiful work. See you there. RBN
Fall is truly falling, with bluster and a chill, a sprinkle of rain, and dust of snow.
Many things are wrapping up, including the garden and the riverbank.
Several families came out to the riverbank stewardship day on Saturday, and I am still hoping that we can get the 8th graders out to do stewardship in the Garden and to eat roasted potatoes and drink spiced apple cider. If we can set a day this week, I hope we can get some help supervising and cooking and all. I am meeting with the first-grade teachers to start up weekly tree lessons. I am meeting with the 4th-grade classes to review the plants that live in each ecosystem at Sauganash.
On Wednesday, November 17, Report Card pick-up day, parents will be able to have a look at their child’s ecology journal, from 3-7th grade, while waiting for your teacher conference. During the week I will start responding to student journals. If anyone would like to help learn “journal response”, to read and write back to our students, please let me know. I have 240 Mighty Acorns journals to read. Coffee?? Cookies??
I am looking for a used Weber (or other) grill to use with classes coming out to the garden during this chilly season. I am also asking for everyone to keep an eye out for straw bales that we can retrieve to use as mulch next year.