While I teach the students organic gardening practices every Wednesday, the rest of the week they work in the Emerald Necklace Parks. This week they have been shoveling heavy spring snow. I want to share with you part of the Mission Statement for our Maintenance Collaborative:
“Increase maintenance of the Emerald Necklace park in a cost-effective manner. The Maintenance Collaborative crews provide over 5000 hours of maintenance work in the park each year. A well-maintained park improves the short and long-term health of plantings and park eco-systems, increases use of the park by residents and visitors, and increases park safety. Given the continual pressure on state and local budgets, the Maintenance Collaborative increases the level of park maintenance in an extremely cost-efficient manner.”
Yesterday we did a team building exercise in “continuity” as a way of illustrating to the students the idea of supporting each other’s work, be it in the classroom, in the parks or in their larger lives. Maintaining a massive park entails a great deal of team work as does building a supportive life and community.
We each had a pile of flowers; forsythia, daffodils and hyacinths. For ten minutes we drew and then passed the paper to the next student for 10 minutes and so on until 60 minutes later we had 6 cohesive drawings, all different but all in the same theme.
While some botanical images were more sophisticated than others, more primitive, robust or gentle … they all came together as a series of equally beautiful images because we shared our talents and our strengths. “One for all and all for one” as someone pointed out.