Key to the garden map
The areas of Waters Garden that need protection are the colored areas of the map, as they are the parts of the garden with heavy investment from the community. Of these, only the blue area could possibly be moved. Details below.
The first three gardens listed below were made entirely by the Waters School community, asphalt pulled up with pickaxes by hand, planted, and interwoven with culturally important events, memorials, and with significant investment from generations of Waters alumni and their families.
1. Heart of the Garden —-GREEN This is the south end of the school block, and the oldest part of the garden, created in sections over many years by hand from asphalt. Four 300 year old oaks, older than our city, the fire circle, classroom garden areas, high quality native gardens, classroom raised beds, heart of the CPS school composting program, juneberries, coldframes, cedar tool shed, community garden, rhubarb, grape arbor, and much much more.
2. Refuge Garden —BROWN (by the main school doors) Created as part of an arts integrations project as a cultural event with refugees from war, memorializing the homes they left in the murals on the bench and stepping stones. Raspberries, red and black currants, gooseberries, and native flowers fill this garden in seasons. There is seating for outdoor classroom activities. Students gather the berries and drink the juice at school celebrations.
3. Snake and Turtle Garden —ORANGE (at the northeast corner of the school block, near the flagpole) This garden is celebrated every year by the youngest grades who tell the tale of the snake and turtle who used to live here a hundred years ago, where our school now stands and of how the river was drained and garden created by the students themselves. Effigy mounds, made by hand, lie hiding under the hazelnuts in this garden. The play and song have been performed in the school every year for 15 years. A recording of each is linked on our website. Here is a link to the song and images that tell of the creation and importance of this garden. It explains the background of the Snake and Turtle play that students have performed with Mr. Leki for many years at Waters school.
4. Waters Wetland (south-south swale) —PINK This area was created as part of the 2008 school rennovation’s onsite stormwater management system, but has been blocked off, replanted, and tended carefully by our ecology program staff. This is a high quality area.
5. BLUE This area was also made by hand and has valuable plants, but is of lesser value. Here grow red currants, native plants, and a paw paw tree.
There are other valuable trees that should be considered. The rest of the plants on the school block could be relocated. That should be budgeted into the project and not relegated to the ecology volunteers.