Planning with teachers, Vote LSC, and hope for our Oaks

Planning for garden visits

I spent the day meeting with grade level teams of teachers planning for their ecology trips and garden visits. This was a welcome invitation from Principal Rutkowski to increase student engagement with our beautiful garden. Students will do everything from raising seedlings, planting, weeding, studying the endless species of native plants, checking out the compost, artwork and music. We will be needing lots of help from parents and community volunteers to make these visits fruitful and enjoyable. I will be putting out the call for help in these Ecology Notes. These schedule is posted at

Vote Wednesday (April 20th) for LSC

Please come out and vote for the LSC tomorrow. Let the Council know that you care about the school and community. You will need an ID with your address to vote.

Good News on Ancient Oaks

There was some concern that the cavity in the bottom of the bur oak by the cedar shed. The tree appears to be the same as it was when I first saw it in 1991. Base cavities are common in mature oaks. In the early 2000s we had a leading State arborist check out the tree and his assessment was that the tree was sound, with more than 275 healthy annual rings around the central cavity. He estimated the age of the tree as 350+ years, far surpassing the age of Chicago. It was a mature tree when the gently flowing, natural Chicago River flowed through what would someday be our school grounds. So this is a venerable and ancient tree, incredibly valuable and loved. Yesterday a group from CPS visited to assess the trees health and unanimously agreed that the tree is healthy and its value outweighed any risks.  Another hundred years!!

Mr. Leki