Dear Riverbank Friends, Please join us this Saturday, November 13, from 10:00 – 1:00 at the Berteau Ave wood chip mountain. Our aim is to add “dressing” layers to as much of the path as possible to try to get us through the winter without muddy paths. This is relatively easy, low stress, work, and kids are encouraged to join their parents in the task. Thanks to those neighbors who have been plugging away at the pile for the past 2 weeks. We may also be doing some seed collecting from the other side of the river, mostly grass and legume seeds to spread on our side. And, as always weeding and general clean up. Join us on this chilly Fall Saturday. Dress warn. Bring a thermos of hot beverage, your favorite gloves, and work boots. We will provide the rest.
Dear Riverbank Neighbors, What a fine, fierce time! The edge of the season sharpens our senses and ‘tunes our tongues”. We have a Riverbank stewardship day coming up, Saturday, November 13, 2021, 10:00 until noon. In the meantime, our friend Jovi dropped off a pile of wood chips at the end of Berteau Street. I didn’t want to reject this offer. I thought it would be great to “dress” the paths before winter with an additional 2-3 inches of fresh chips would help make the paths more welcoming. So, I will leave a wheelbarrow and shovel near the pile so that anyone wanting a bit of exercise can shovel, haul and spread a few loads.
I also want to welcome back Brendon, former intern and Riverbank leader who has moved back to the neighborhood with his partner AnaLucia and their young child Tamia. Brendon has been putting in extra hours pruning and trimming and will be helping lead work days through the Fall. I wanted to share with you a little story of the season that I wrote. I’ve already shared it with the Waters School ecology volunteer list, but wanted to also provide it to our riverbank families, as an alternative to the often horrific bloody mayhem that is offered up in the broader culture during this mysterious, poignant time.
A reminder invitation to join us by the river tomorrow at noon to do some essential maintenance work on a glorious Fall Day. Meet at Berteau street and the river. Bring your favorite gloves and hand pruners, or, if not, we will provide. Hope to see you there, Pete
Dear RBN Friends, The Fall Equinox is here, marking another milestone in our celestial cycle. Equal parts night and day. The Sun rising directly east and setting directly west. The Lakefront is the best place to welcome the Sunrise, and Horner Park hill not a bad place to watch it set. Today it will be cloudy and windy, but above the clouds the movement of the Sun goes on. However you mark this day, know that you are linked to billions on earth who recognize it as a unifying moment.
I want to propose the following days for Stewardship along the River. Saturday Oct 2, 10-1:00 Sunday, Oct 17, 12:00 – 2:00 Saturday, November 13, 10 – 1:00 Meet down at Berteau Street and the river!
Be well, Pete
Below are previous messagesRiverbank Workday this morning, Sat, Aug 21st 8-10 at Berteau, the east side of the river.
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 8th is the big city-wide River Day, organized by Friends of the Chicago River, which was founded in 1979 when the river was desperately more polluted and had almost no fish in it anymore. ‘Friends’ is responsible for organizing Chicagoans to fight for the improvements that have brought our river back to life.
If you aren’t a member yet, If you love the river, then you’ll want to become a member of Friends. They send a great newsletter all about the river that shows how much great work is going on to improve the quality of the river. Our local group, Riverbank Neighbors has been partnering with and supported by Friends of the Chicago River for decades.
On River Day, we usually have 20-30 new people show up at Berteau around 9am. We need to show them what work needs to be done. For this, we need some of our experienced neighbors who already know the work to help lead the event. Although Riverbank Neighbors hosts many many workdays throughout the year, River Day is a special day for us because on that day, we often recruit new wonderful members who find us through the Friends of the Chicago River website. We also love being one of many many sites for the big city-wide event! This year, as in most previous years, our site is full.
If you come to Riverbank Neighbor workdays often and know the tasks fairly well (digging up natives that have spread to the path, weeding, or wood chipping) and if you are willing to show newcomers how to do it, please join us tomorrow (even if you didn’t sign up yet) between 9 and 12 in the morning. (please reply to this email to let us know you can come. Thank you!)
We’ll be joined for a show of support by our Alder* Matt Martin and State Senator Sara Feigenholtz.
In non-covid years, all participants were invited to gather for one big celebration after the event with music, visiting nature educators, and fun games for kids. next year, we hope to celebrate together again. We hope everyone will get vaccinated to help such celebrations possible. For now, please bring your masks and respect people’s personal space for covid reasons. Thank you so much, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Upcoming dates are on our website at the link here.
2- Gratitude to the Burn Support Crew for another successful year! Once again, our community has completed a successful burn of the Riverbank at Berteau and of Waters Garden. Gratitude to all who gave their time to attend the online burn support crew training and who were part of the team for the actual controlled burn. A Gallery of photos and link to the recording of the burn crew training are on our website here. This year, Pete Leki shared the torch with three Riverbank Neighbor women who had the training and experience, Sarah Anderson, Lisa Phillips, and Jules Peterson-Green. Pete also assisted the Montrose Metra Garden for their first controlled burn. What a difference from decades ago when this was all new!
3- Task list (from Pete) Dear Friends, The sap is flowing and we have work to do. I ordered wood chips, but there is no-telling when they will arrive. And we are scheduled to be a host site for Chicago River Day in May, but for now…. There is a lot of work to do: We need to clean up trash and trim shrubs in the garden that runs along the parking area; we need to repair alot of the little fences (stick and string) the line our pathways; we need to repair and replenish our signage; we need to repair retaining walls that have shifted; we need to repair and replace some of our steps, we need to add a few new sections of split rail fencing, we need to dig up some prairie plants that have jumped into the path and plant them into the entrance garden at Rockwell and Berteau (Thank you Greg and Allison for creating and taking care of that area). 4- Waters and Riverbank family looking for 2-3 bedroom apt. If anyone knows of a 2-3 bedroom apartment coming available soon please email Jeremy and Jan Atherton. They’ve been involved in Riverbank Neighbors and Waters Garden for a few years. Their child is a Waters student. Jeremy is a neuroscientist at Northwestern and Jan is a talented artist. They have to move out of their apartment on Pensacola because it is being converted from a 2 flat to a single family home and they are having difficulty staying in the neighborhood. Perhaps someone could help prevent gentrification from costing us another community member.