Upcoming Events…

Wed, June 15 Honorary Bike Ride- Lincoln Square More info here https://fb.me/e/2uaPmL3ly

Sat, June 18 Welles Park Eco-Fest more info here

Fri, June 17 6-7 Seeds and Weeds along the riverbank with Jules. Join at Berteau. pleasant, light work, peaceful time to enjoy nature and be with community. weather dependent. check the calendar, email, or facebook page for updates.

Hold the date.  Tues, June 21 Solstice. Different than the past. Activism for bike safety. Ceremony to recognize heroes in our midst. Ceremony to commemorate those lost to cars going too fast and toxic car culture. We’ll learn about ways to save lives, learn some songs, learn some native flowers in bloom.  and we’ll see old and new friends. Please email if you’d like to help organize or do setup/tear down for our solstice gathering. Perhaps we’ll go one a RBN bike ride.  Other ideas are being considered, weather dependent.

Please check for updates on our Riverbank Neighbor calendar.

Eco-Fest: see you there


Eco-Fest Welles Park
June 18 from 10 AM to 2 PM


The Green Council, Riverbank Neighbors, Waters Garden, and many other local environmental groups will be at the eco-fest. Please mark your calendars and come on by and say hello.


Gratitude to the 47th Ward’s youth and green councils, Alderman Matt Martin, Andi Aguila, the 47th Ward’s director of Small Business Affairs, the Welles Park Advisory Council and all those who’ve organized the fest. (and apologies for any I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll amend this) Check out the website to see all the interesting things going on. We’d love to see you there! Here’s the link

Any of you who are part of Riverbank Neighbors or Waters Garden, we would love if you’d join us at our table. Hang out, make it easier and more fun! Email us to rsvp if you can join. At 10:40 we’ll be singing in the Gazebo, so arrive early for that if you’d like to join and know the songs or have a Waters student who wants to sing the songs they know well from field trips.

This is also an event where anyone wanting to do something to channel their anger and grief over the loss of three beloved precious humans from our families and communities. Two little children and one longtime neighbor, all killed by crashes on roads designed to prioritize fast cars, not human safety. We can do better. Learn more here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNtsWvNYKE This 8 min video is the best we could find to very very quickly open people’s mind to a whole new kind of street design, one that studies show, saves many many lives and would have saved the lives of Lily, Raffi, and Peter.
Riverbank Neighbors aims to be better advocates for safety to work for safer streets.
Please email us if you watch this video, tell us your thoughts and if you’d like to organize some bike and pedestrian and safety advocacy/education in the name of Lily, Raffi, Peter, and others taken from us too soon.

Hope to See you Saturday, June 18, Welles Park, EcoFest

Ward Night Out with Ald. Martin and the 47th Ward Green Council

💧Next month is Chicago River Month! Let’s celebrate the important work of Riverbank Neighbors, Friends of the Chicago River, and others. Join Alder Matt Martin for a drinks and discussion about environmental issues at Burning Bush Brewery.

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.

📅 May 12 🕓 7:00pm 🔗bit.ly/riverbank47

Possible Partial Burn, weather dependent

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.

Controlled Burn notice

Dear Neighbors, in coming days, when the weather is right, Riverbank Neighbors will be conducting a controlled burn of some sections of the Riverbank at Berteau on the east side of the Chicago River.

During the burn, please stay well back and don’t distract the crew. Thank you.

A wonderful video about the much larger controlled burns conducted in the forest preserves of Illinois are is here. https://video.wttw.com/video/jay-joins-burn-crew-ai6x1p/

And another completely fantastic short video, highlighting the beautiful flowers of the region and a local photographer, Mike MacDonald is here: https://video.wttw.com/video/chicagos-best-wildflowers-v4zcuy/

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.

hope everyone is well. see you at the river..

jules for rbn

Sun, March 20, Spring Equinox

Sunday, March 20, 2022
11-12 Riverbank workday,
12-1 gather for fire, community, and small ceremony of hope, details below.

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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.

for RBN, Jules

a drawing of a peace dove by Picasso

Equinox Stewardship and Observance

Dear Riverbank Friends, 


We would like to invite you to a short workday and celebration on Sunday, March 20, from 11:00 until 1:00 to observe the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring and the official end of Winter.

Goodbye Winter! We will do some clean up and path maintenance from 11:00 until 12:00. Part of our work will be preparation for a planned prescribed burn of the riverbank at the end of the month.


We will then gather around  a fire from 12:00 until 1:00 to share greetings, stories and libations. Let us know if you would like to help set up and organize this neighborhood greeting of Spring.


RBN

Fire workshop! Wednesday, February 23 at 6:00

Dear  Riverbank Neighbors,
An invitation for you: 
Ecological Burn Support Crew Training (online) Feb 23rd
Click here for Evite Link

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

RBN

Save the Date Wed Feb 23rd and rsvp

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.

learn more…

RiverbankNeighbors.org

WatersEcology.org

Burn Training soon

Dear Riverbank Neighbors,

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. 

Riverbank Neighbors