Waters Student Present to the Citywide River Conference

Dear Friends, Three Waters 6th Graders, Lucy, Lucinda, and Ameer, will be presenting to the Chicago River Student Congress this Saturday. They will be explaining how the river and sewage system are linked, from house and street, to treatment plant and  Deep Tunnel before returning to the river. Thanks to Ms. Walsh for making this possible.The Congress is virtual, open and free. Students and others may register at:

Phenology and EphemeralsHere is a link to the latest spring wildflowers to bloom in Waters Garden.


Mr. Leki

Prescribed Burn of the native gardens 2021- success!

On March 18, we conducted an online workshop to teach (or review) how to be the support crew for the controlled burns conducted at Waters Garden and by Riverbank Neighbors. Here is a link to the recording of the Controlled Burn Support Crew Training for Riverbank Neighbors and Waters Garden. For those who would like to get more training, look for burn crew certification events in January and February next year. We usually conduct our controlled burns around the same time each year.

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.  

The team at both the Waters and Riverbank burns this year included: Bill Keller, Caitlin Meeter, Trina G, Christine M, Arunas S, Lisa Philips, Meg Ford, Sarah Anderson,, Roark Johnson, Simon Reeves, Lisa Madigan, Pat Byrnes, Amy Crum, Jules Peterson-Green, Pete Leki

Thanks to additional community members who have completed some level of training, certification, and/or years of experience in conducting controlled burns including: Lisa Hish, Matt Henning, Rob Coleman, Colleen McVeigh, Gibran Hadj-Chikh, and Beth Hirshley. (please email us if we forgot anyone from 2021)

In previous years, the crew included many others, especially Sue Murray, Kevin Anderson, Jerry Jaecks, Jamal Leki-Albano, Susan Malone, Brendon Gross, Carolyn Dean, Lewis Hoffman, Patrick Briggs, Linnzi Hodel, and others. (once again, please email us if we didn’t list someone we should.)

A Gallery of photos from the 2021 Riverbank Neighbor controlled burn are on that website here.  This year, Pete Leki shared the torch with three Riverbank Neighbor/Waters community 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!

Cottonwood, Valentines, and Karen Lewis

Dear community, Jules writing.

1 Here’s the new little eco-film clip that we made this week that was shared in some ecology lessons. It’s not cinema quality, but that’s not the goal. Often, parents also see the videos and let us know that they enjoyed them too. They are sweet to watch with your children. enjoy. If I had time to do another draft, there would be a 3rd segment after the musical interlude, a segment where we share something I discovered myself.. that you can recognize cottonwood trees with your eyes closed, by listening for them. I’ll try to record the sound this summer. I love cottonwoods! There’s so much to love about them and their little heart shaped leaves!

2 Valentines to the garden, the flowers, the trees, or mother nature: This week, some of Pete’s ecology classes made some Valentines and will be bringing them to the garden or other natural places. This was an idea inspired by friends Andrea Dennis (Friends of the Park) and Leslie Borns (steward of Montrose Point) who invited us to participate in a similar project (more on that in coming days…) We thought we would invite you to also write a love letter to the river or garden or a place on this planet where nature touches your heart. If you are so moved, you are also invited to document your Valentines and send us a photo. I’ll use them is a little video or for the website… Here’s one…

3 Many in the community are planning to attend the virtual services for Karen Lewis today at 5pm and wanted to share the invitation. I’ll add that if you don’t know who she is, it may lift you up immensely to see the video that will be shown. Many many many loved her and wished that cancer didn’t stop her. She was running for mayor. She changed Chicago for the better. Her vision and example can still guide us. If you miss the services, we’ll see if we can share the link to the video. If it weren’t pandemic times, there would be a massive event and we would all go together.

Here is a link to the online event. 5pm today Thurs, 2/11/21

be well.