Here is my “presentation” I gave to the Iowa City Council this week….. Why is Gaia’s here? thanks for your support…… Win win win is a change of consciousness……
Gaia’s Peace Garden
I am Blair Frank….. I live at 431 Elmridge Ave Iowa City….. My garden, which I call Gaia’s Peace Garden, is located at 2066 Bristol dr.
I am a retired nurse and pastor and now my passion is gardening and sharing this beautiful land with people in our community.
I am not a wealthy man as measured by most….. I purchased this garden intentionally to create a space for learning, healing and connection….. 8 years of love made visible. My goal is to have this space available to people in our community to connect with the beauty of nature and find peace in a stressful world.
Gaia’s Peace Garden is….
A safe place……
A community space…..
A beautiful space….
A space recognized by United Plant Savers, a group whose mission is to protect medicinal herbs….
A place recognized by Seed Savers Exchange…..
A Monarch Waystation
A place practicing alternative energy….,
A place practicing permaculture…..
I receive Wholeness in return…. much more than what I could purchase (worked through grief and over the years became epilepsy free)
Gaia’s Peace Garden includes an orchard, a labyrinth, berry patches, a learning area, a medicinal oasis of indigenous flowers and herbs and pollinators, a small native prairie and pollinator space, a fairy garden. Friends joined me recently on an event in planting 40 more fruit trees at Gaia’s…….. All of this honoring Iowa City! I regularly share information about this place with my 5000 facebook friends and receive positive feedback from people all over the world.
So you see? My retirement has largely been spent…… cocreating a place to share with Iowa City! With no regrets! Sadness yes, because I have just received feedback from the Iowa City code enforcement office that my use of my land does not comply with city code! But a true gift is a gift is shared and that is what I have done and want to continue to do.
2). This is what I am being told, that I cannot have educational events at my garden and that I should not be allowing people to visit because it is zoned as a residential lot.
I have reached out in letters to my local neighborhood inviting people to walk there….. I have worked to share what I am doing with neighbors of the land and people around the community.
I am there regularly……
I monitor it…..
I invite collaboration on how to fulfill my mission there
My mission….. to have a garden that grows with love and that love is the most important gift of the garden….. A gift I ask all to help me amplify……
I am honoring my feelings here tonight because I value them…… Sadness….. Anger….. Gratitude. I am seeking to find common ground with the city council and city officials and people of the community so my garden can continue to be a place of learning, healing and nurturing. This is corroborated by neighbors who report such experiences there on a regular basis
Gaia’s Peace Garden has been described recently as a sanctuary…… To understand what makes Gaia’s unique requires a visit there……please come and see for yourself!
There is nothing to purchase at Gaia’s….No entry fee, no ideology or theology or politics or any belief system to ascribe to there…… but if you start reading accounts of people who have been there and think I am putting Gaia’s on a pedestal you’re right! I can give you a tour there but it’s not about me there…… It’s about you! And that’s entirely up to you to experience!
I know that this use of land is somewhat unusual. People usually purchase lots to build a house on. Economically the value is alternative….. No gold buried there but a golden rule is practiced and water and soil and air are valued and honored and they are your hosts……
If you are there some evening, you might find me hosting a sacred fire in the firepit so people can tell stories, connect and share. Someone might be walking the labyrinth and another walking amongst the herbs and prairie plants. Children might be playing in the fairy garden or looking at the pretty rocks while their parents find a bit of peaceful time in the beauty of nature. Another person might be walking their dog and enjoying the flowers and trees.
I am here tonight because I want to find common ground…… Common ground by em powering each of us by being open to what Gaia’s Peace Garden offers as a template in an urban environment……
I am here to ask that Gaia’s be recognized for what it is…… A safe place to remember and reconnect and learn……. And much more…….
Gaia’s Peace Garden offers Wholeness…… Where can you find Wholeness these days? Where can we find Wholeness as we scan the news local and global? Divisions and battles and distractions and competition galore……. But as we find ourselves in such a chaotic and violent world, can we say whoa? Competition might not be the way to go…… How about Wholeness?
The people who trigger me the most have the deepest spiritual and practical lessons to teach me! They remind me of parts of who I am and they are my heroes, peole such as Jennifer Jordan, Jason Grimm and Scott Koepke and Fred Meyer and….. my wife…… Our progressive city council members and community leaders inspire me, as well.
Oh the list goes on…… People like them- like you! Because we are, despite all our divisive rhetoric, more alike than we are different….. People who made it hard for me when I have thought about leaving Iowa City. People like you- the older and the newer consciousness-who are bringing good things to Iowa City….. East Side Recycling Center with indigenous prairie and a LEED certified alternative energy center…..more community gardens, more bike trails, support for the first cohousing community in Iowa. And so much more……. Ecopolis…… Backyard Abundance…..climate change action.
I am asking for common ground, meaning I want to find a way for me to continue to have Gaia’s Peace Garden be a place where people can come to learn, grow, find peace and wholeness and connect to the land and each other in ways that nurture and heal us and our community. I welcome your ideas for how to accomplish this. Thank you!