Support letter from Phil and Melanie

From: Philip Burke 
Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2022 at 2:30 PM

Dear Mr. Rutkowski and Waters School LSC,

Thank you both for taking time to visit with us last Saturday, I hope it was a useful opportunity to receive direct feedback from the community. I’m writing in support of the Waters Ecology program, Mr. Pete Leki and the role the garden plays within the community. 

My partner and I do not have children who attend Waters; however, over the past 6 yrs as volunteers, we have developed a strong connection to the school. Having recently purchased a place ½ block away on Maplewood, we could easily plant vegetables at home, yet we choose to have a plot at Waters for the simple fact that it provides us a conduit to one of the most vital components of any neighborhood and community, the school. Through our connection to Pete and our active participation in the garden (well beyond scheduled work days), be it helping prepare the vegetable plots for the students, washing potatoes and even picking up trash, we feel a direct bond to the school. From our perspective, the Waters Community garden and Ecology Program’s public outreach are the embodiment of effective community engagement and placemaking. We deeply appreciate our time spent on the grounds and see it as our responsibility to keep a watchful eye on this much loved public space. 

What has been achieved through this decades-long experiment at Waters Garden/School is quite miraculous and celebratory. With the support of the school, students, parents, neighbors and most notably Mr Leki, this space has become a welcoming and safe space for playing, learning, gathering, growing and communing. It is our hope that this program will be given the resources it requires to continue to thrive and adapt. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern.


Your Neighbors and Boosters, 

Phil and Melanie