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Would that we could clone Iris and put one of her in every neighborhood. What she has done represents years of sustained volunteer work, beginning with her success replacing much of the asphalt behind the school with a vast and beautiful rain garden that brought together the brains and resources of the U.S. Botanical Garden and various government agencies. She was there long before Michelle Obama, creating vegetable gardens for the kids, and now is developing a brilliant concept: building a community garden on school grounds. That makes Iris not only a force of nature, but a true visionary. It's high time her work is recognized. I hope someone thinks to preserve some of Iris' DNA for future generations.

Iris' energy and devotion are a blessin -- she is always sniffing out free plants and ways to expand the Bancroft garden. I recall donating spring-blooming bulbs and a pile of her name sake iris to the cause. The fact that she has not burnt out yet, as often happens in projects like this when one person shoulders most of the burden, is a testament to her inner-strength and love for gardening.

I really want to try to do something like this at the school my office is in. My IT office is located in Jefferson Middle School in SW, and I am really hoping that I can convince the school administration that this is something worthwhile. It will be complicated since I'm not part of DCPS, but I guess I need to start with the attitude: "Where there is a will, there is a way!"

Eva - be sure to check out DC School Garden Week at the beginning of October - for ideas, inspiration & networking -

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