Happy long week end.
On this veteran's Day, I pray that all wars end and disappear from the face of the earth.
Tomorrow I will be reading Mighty Acorns journals all day, in preparation for Report Card Pick Up Day. If you would like to help, please come for an hour, more, or less.
I will be in the Conference Room from 8:15 until 10:30.
Then I will be by the fish tank, from 10:30 until 1:00,
then back in the Conference Room.
We hope to invite the 8th Grade to the Garden on Thursday to do extremely important work to prepare for Winter AND
the moving of plants, shrubs and vines from the Snake and Turtle Garden
which, apparently, will be involved in the siting of the new Annex.
Snake and Turtle Garden was originally called the Native Edibles Garden.
Here's the posting from the kiosk:
The Garden surrounding this playground was created
in 2002-3. It was hewn out of solid asphalt.
The asphalt was removed by hand, by students, parents, teachers and neighbors, over the course of 18 months. About 4,000 square feet of asphalt was removed. This allowed 90,000 gallons of rain water per year to be diverted from the sewers, into the ground and soil, to grow flowers and edible plants. The work was joyous, exhausting, and heroic. In the future we will display images from that project and explain more about how and why our school took on this task.
We planted Concord grape vines onto the barren chain link fences, foreseeing children and parents gorging on the sweet fruit. Please be gentle with these plants, and it is wise to wait until they are very dark before eating. Also, parents, please do not allow your children to climb or cross any fences. They are there to protect the plants.
When we pulled up the asphalt we found, underneath, not soils,
but a 2 foot layer of boiler cinders. Digging up these cinders was exhausting,
and hauling them away in dumpsters cost a lot of money that we didn't have.
So we left the cinders in place wherever we could:
like underneath the path.
And we built effigy mounds,
one of a very large turtle,
being followed by a very large Snake.
To the west we piled up a hill, to create a
a special kind of dry prairie with its own suite of plants.
We covered them all with soils and planted them with plants that were edible, or produced edible fruits or vegetables.
The idea was that you could enter one end hungry, and exit the other with your appetite satisfied. There was American hazelnut and plum, black walnut, Wild cherry, Paw paw, many grapevines, raspberries, wild onions, Jerusalem artichoke, wild strawberries, and, planted on the back of Snake, Northern dropseed grass, whose seed was used as a grain plant by our native ancestors.
There are many funny stories associated with this garden's creation.
And the Legend of Snake and Turtle.
It was funded by Friends of the Chicago River,
as a pilot project to show how we can reduce the dumping of sewage in the River,
by opening the ground to accept rain water.
There is a large binder in my office documenting this project.
We are hoping that the new Annex project will include transplanting of viable shrubs and vines to a new location. Perhaps Snake and Turtle could be re-located to the North bio-swale, as part of a new children's Nature-play area.
Recycle Captain's Luncheon will be this Friday, during the students' normal lunch hour.
It will be in a location as yet to be determined.
Set up and all preps generally start at 10:00.
But at 10:30, I will be at a meeting in the Alderman's office about the addition.
So, I will not be back until 11:30. 11:45,
missing the first students.
Hmmmm. Maybe I should postpone until after Thanksgiving???
And enjoy this wonderful season,