Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Of Water Street Seed Bombing, Ypsi MIddle School, & the State of Michigan's Education

Mark Maynard has organized a "seed bombing" of the Water Street property in Ypsilanti. For tomorrow--May Day!

May Day of course has multiple meanings:
The first day of May
A festive holiday
A day for labor equality
A distress call

What's nice about this Mark Maynard post is that it addresses the first day of May, the festive-ness of the day, and a distress call for the State of Education in our State.

Mark starts this post like this:

I skipped breakfast this morning and headed over with Jeff Clark to make seed bombs with 7th and 8th graders at Ypsi Middle School. It was an incredible experience. The kids were enthusiastic, inquisitive, and just all-around awesome. And, thanks to their hard work, we now have over 500 seed bombs prepared for Wednesday’s big May Day event… I just wish that I could start every day discussing the environment, native plants, and community activism with energetic young people. It was seriously inspiring… And, it looks like some of them will be peddling their bikes over on Wednesday, so that they can join us as we collectively work to reintroduce native species on Water Street, and transform a desolate, weed-filled wasteland along Michigan Avenue into a thriving commons. Here are a few photos.

He continues:
It’s worth noting, I think, that these kids very much wanted to come as a group to Water Street to walk the site, help remove invasive species, and see what we were planning firsthand. Unfortunately, however, due to budget cuts, and the district’s reliance on private buses, they couldn’t make it. (I’m told that they would have had to pay $300 to use a bus for the day.) So, we did the best that we could to make them a part of the process, given the parameters. Last week, we shot video of the site and sent it to their teacher, so that they could get a sense of what we were doing, and, today, Jeff and I went into their classroom to show them how to make seed bombs, while talking with them about everything from the history of May Day to colony collapse.

Given the feel good nature of this post, this probably isn’t the right place for me to launch into a tirade about the systematic defunding of public education in Michigan, but I really do think it’s criminal that these kids, and their incredible teacher, Tonia Porterfield, lack the ability to even make it across town to work on a project that would tie together so much of what they’re learning about in the classroom, from the real life application of math (in laying out the site), to the importance of species diversification.  
 Read the rest of the post, and see all the photos, here.  

Check out the Ypsilanti May Day schedule here.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the Summers-Knoll school buses there, and I guess the Ypsi Free Skool was there. Mark Maynard has some nice photos up (at and has this article: