Learn more about the History of Riverbank Neighbors and Waters Garden through these audio recordings.

One of our community members has made a number of audio recordings which we’ll be sharing on our website through the coming months. If you’d like to learn more or are looking for a way to support the work, listening to these recordings is actually very helpful.

Here’s the first:

Pieces of the Puzzle

Here we share with you an audio recording of Larry Hodak on the subject of the history of Waters Garden and Riverbank Neighbors as it relates to the North Branch Restoration Project.


On June 27, 2018, we were honored to have Larry Hodak visit and talk to the Waters Garden Community about the history of the North Branch Restoration Project and our native gardens connection to the larger ecosystem throughout time. 

Larry was one of the original members of the North Branch Restoration Project (NBRP) (since the 70's) which has protected the remnant prairies, the last precious examples of our ancient ecosystem. He's been doing this work for decades. He's been co-steward of Sauganash with Pete Leki since about 1988 and has led countless workdays and taught many about how to do this important work. Larry was Pete's mentor in stewardship of the native ecosystem, and so we can be very grateful to Larry for his substatial contribution to all the natural beauty around us in the garden and on the Riverbank and for our stewardship of this precious bit of ancient ecosystem.

This could have equally been about the riverbank. I hope a few of you can take the time to listen to this (or at least part). It's so helpful to listen to the words of our mentors and those who've known the land and the community for longer than we have. Pete told me that at the recent Sauganash stewardship meeting, there were generations of people who were mentored by Larry and those he's taught. This is a beautiful model of a community with many leaders, many generations of overlapping mentors and experts, each nurturing each other's ability to bring together and guide community formation and work. This is the model that I aspire to, for my part, in Riverbank Neighbors. 

I was happy we invited Larry to speak was so that new community members could start to understand more deeply what the native gardens are so they can protect them and feel that deep invitation into stewardship of the oaks and the native gardens, whether it be at a very beginner level or a life calling.