Author Archives: Beth Waitkus

About Beth Waitkus

Gardening as a revolution. More than 8 years ago, I founded and continue to manage the Insight Garden Program at San Quentin Prison and Solano Prisons, a transformative organic gardening program designed to re-connect men to themselves, their communities, and the natural environment -- so when they leave prison, they become productive members of society. To become environmentally aware, all people need is a little time in the garden, or outdoors -- nature teaches us everything we need to know.

Why do I Help “Criminals?” (Part II)

At the Insight Garden Program, we’ve worked with more than 1,000 people at San Quentin Prison. Aside from our great results (less than 10% rate of return to prison compared to CA’s 70%), a transformative curriculum (now grounded in the … Continue reading

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From Prep School to Prison

Much gratitude to the Hotchkiss School Alumni Association’s Board of Governors for the school’s 2013 Community Service Award.  Below is my speech to the Hotchkiss community on April 12, 2013. To the Hotchkiss School Alumni Association’s Board of Governors and … Continue reading

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What does it mean to be free?

(Reposted from January 2012) In last week’s prison garden class, our provocative question for the day was:  “What does it mean to be free?”  Aside from the obvious – that most people in prison want to get out – some … Continue reading

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Home (is where the heart is)

On Golden Pond

One of many homesteads, Salisbury CT

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A Tribute to the Doctor in (My) House — In Memory of Peter Gott, 6/8/35-6/13/12

Over the years, I’ve found that honoring gifts is a way to heal the grief that accompanies death – and sometimes it takes the death of a loved one to understand their full influence on my life. So in that … Continue reading

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Tribute to MLK: Finding Freedom

In last week’s prison garden class, our provocative question for the day was:  “What does it mean to be free?”  Aside from the obvious – that most people in prison want to get out – some interesting answers emerged, including:  … Continue reading

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Occupy Yourself!

My definition of “authenticity” = becoming more conscious about how we show up in the world, and what uncomfortable changes we are willing to make within to find a better way to be with each other. In other words, aligning … Continue reading

Posted in Associational Life, Citizenship, Community, Grassroots Change, Leadership, Organization Development, Politics, Uncategorized | 7 Comments