In the winter of 2020 we began working with the Sullivan County Land Bank to help revitalize a 4-acre wooded property in Monticello, NY that had become a hazardous dumping ground. Progress, of course, was subject to fits and spurts as COVID tore through the community, but by August of that year we were officially able to inaugurate the Bailey ***Commons*** with a public ceremony and a nod toward redressing the enclosure of common lands, which began in 13th century England and persists today in massive sell-offs of public lands to private interests. Originally, we had partnered with the Monticello Central School District through the St. John Street HUB – which has now become a community pre-school and alternative education location – to run after-school programs in the Commons, where we had fashioned a Forest School classroom. (See our previous post, The Hub.) But widespread COVID infections nixed all after-school activities, and the Bailey Commons kind of faded from our consciousness as we pursued other activities. Then, in early March of this year, the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Community Development reached out to us to restart the Bailey Commons Forest School after-school program, which we will do beginning in May with cohorts from two Monticello elementary schools.
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