Dear Maggie – May 2, 2024

Dear Maggie —

I saw mention of a “Dragon’s Grove v. 2.0” in some announcement recently.  Not gonna lie; there are A LOT of announcements in this community and I have no idea where or when I saw it.  I work for a software company so I am what you might call a technophile!  It’s a cheap thrill – but I live for beta testing new apps and finding bugs in computer programs.  Where can I get my hands on this new Dragon’s Grove 2.0 beta?  I’d be happy to look it over and give any feedback. I’m totally nerding out thinking of the opportunity to help get this up and running!  What does the app do anyway? Is it for keeping track of the SMOS activities at Tower Grove Park, or maybe it’s to keep track of the one million dress-down days;?!?  What I’d really love is if it had nothing to do with Dragons or Groves, but was a clever way to file official complaints about my children’s inability to put their shoes on the first time they are asked?!  But that’s just wishful thinking.  Anyway, what’s the data download??

— Techy Thomas

Dear Techy —

Sorry to crash your hard drive… but Dragon’s Grove 2.0 isn’t a new app or software that SMOS is testing out.  You may or may not remember that “Dragon’s Grove” is a garden that has been maintained and used by the school for many years. It was previously located across the street at the NE corner of Lawrence and Shaw.  We are now relocating it onto school property this year, so Dragon’s Grove v. 2.0 is the second iteration of this garden.  The new Dragon’s Grove will be located along the Lawrence side of St. Joe Hall, near the preschool door.  In a previous column, you might have read that the large dome and some seating had been moved from the old garden to the new spot to launch this relocation effort.

Now the next phase of this relocation will be starting this Saturday during the SMOS Annual Day Of Service.  Our fearless DOS (Day Of Service, not the software for your old IBM PC) leader, Chrissy Rogers, has once again spearheaded this event and has BIG plans for sprucing up the school campus.  Most of the efforts will be put toward preparing the area for new garden beds to be built for Dragon’s Grove 2.0 – but there will also be opportunities to help teachers organize their classrooms, do some much-needed painting indoors, help assemble a new desk in the library, and haul away what might be the least useful desk to ever exist (you know it’s bad when Chris Stephens can’t even find a place to reuse it), and putting together meal kits for Operation Food Search.

I know it’s no beta testing – but I bet-a you’re one heckuva volunteer, Tom!  If you’ve got some free time on Saturday and can tear yourself away from your devices (I know, a big IF), then you might come out and join for a few hours –  just pop by for whatever amount of time you can spare on the backend.  (And speaking of bytes – Chrissy has arranged for the Hacienda food truck to be on the blacktop in the late afternoon.  It’s just order online or at the window though – so no servers, not the human or computer kind – and I’m not sure if they have cookies. 😀)

But just so you don’t feel completely teched-off, I’ll close by putting this in nerd terms for you… 

Our synergistic approach leverages cutting-edge volunteerism to streamline community coordination and maximize impact. Utilizing a bespoke gardening application, volunteers seamlessly interface with the forecasted part-cloud-based platform, enabling real-time task allocation and project tracking. Our AI-powered analytics engine (WeShare) optimizes resource allocation (shovels and dirt), ensuring efficient utilization of human capital and minimizing downtime.  Augmented reality overlays (mulch beds) provide volunteers with immersive training experiences, enhancing skill acquisition and retention.  Blockchain meal kit prep, furniture assembly, and a user-friendly painting application ensures full coverage throughout the event lifecycle. Through the convergence of these innovative service solutions, we catalyze a transformative volunteer experience while fostering a culture of community engagement and digital fluency.

Phew!  Thanks, ChatGPT!  In other words, be there or be square! 

— Maggie


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