Sweat, Soil, Water, Joy, StruggleSaturday Garden morning 9-12

Dear Waters Gardener Friends, 
Join us tomorrow for a Garden Solidarity Gathering and Stewardship day, 9-12:00 noon. We’ll be weeding and watering, tying and harvesting, chipping and chopping. We’ll end with ice cream cones and cold, sparkling water. We will spend some time looking at the latest blooming native wildflowers, and take some moments to update everyone about the threats to the garden and its stewardship. 
If you would like, I would invite you to take a bag of frozen tomatoes for your enjoyment.
Many thanks to school families that are organizing and communicating to protect the garden and restore the ecology program. Tho things look bleak, don’t lose hope, and don’t leave. We need you and we love and appreciate you. I still am at a loss to know for sure why the ecology program and garden were attacked so ruthlessly, without thought about the thousands that worked so hard to create them.  It could be retaliation for years of activism, it could be a new more privileged group wanting to take over the beauty and wealth created by others, and re-cast it in their own image. There is a long history of that happening. But, I don’t know because I have not been told. Have you??  
I have asked the Alderman to make another attempt to mediate some kind of plan for going forward that doesn’t poison the community with division.  We will know in the next few days if this is something worth pursuing.
I realized, as I was biking to the Lake today, to try to rid my mind of anxiety and my heart of pain, that I was looking at each tree that I passed. I was looking for seeds to share with the 1st graders that I would be doing tree study with: locust pods, and ash seed clusters, and new bur oak acorns, and fresh catalpa pods. I have done this every one of the past 20 years. And I realized that I didn’t have to do it anymore. That I no longer worked for Waters School, and would not teach the songs, and leaves and bark and flowers to these little ones. 
I got to the Lake and the prairie there was abloom with compass plant and monarda, and yellow coneflower and big blue stem, and I remembered that I would not be showing these plants to our 7th graders. We won’t comb the beaches for signs of what lives in the depths, won’t share lunch on the harbor and songs about water.
I stopped by Uptown Bikes on Broadway and Wilson to get a part, and the owner asked me if I was ready to go back to school. I said, “Did you know I was a teacher?” She said “everyone knows you, and knows about Waters School. It’s famous.” I told her I had been fired and she cried. She went in and asked her staff to sign the petition. 
I went to the Library and ran into a Waters Teacher that greeted me with joy, until I told her I had been fired. And she cried and asked what she could do. She came to Waters because of Ecology and the Garden, She said she would talk to all her teacher friends to act.
Please sign the petition at watersecology.org, and ask friends to sign and comment. These next few weeks will be critical.
With much Love, 
Pete Leki