Every week we cut flowers and the men turn them into bouquets.
Then the buckets of bouquets are brought to the Visiting Room to be handed out to visitors that night at the prison.
Every time we do this I think about the success of the program. Its not about all the seeds the turkeys ate, or the thousands of strawberries that the turkeys enjoyed or the weeds or the lack of rain. Its the abundance of cosmos, nepeta, black eyed Susans, hydrangea, ornamental grasses and the wild flowers that grow near the garden like tansy and Queen Anne’s lace. These are the joys of the class as we sit and tie bundles of flowers to give to the children, the parents, the partners of the men who live at the prison.
We discover in helping others and doing things we think are the right thing that we indeed find ourselves and the self respect that helps us grow and become.
I often wonder how Olmsted would turn incarceration into success. I would love to tell him about our dreams to help turn these students into thriving citizens working in the greatest park in the world helping to maintain its peace and health for all to enjoy.