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Group gardening

Community gardening remains an important kind of gardening in Chicago and throughout the world. It’s gardening performed by members of a community on a plot of land. Community gardens can be held in trust by local governments or managed by non-profit organizations. They offer job training and workshops.

Grant Park Rose Garden
Photo by Elaine C. Shigley

A community garden increases community spirit and provides a link to the environment. Community gardeners benefit from outdoor exercise with friends while improving their neighborhood. Everyone in the community gains by saving money on produce, by experiencing increased food supply and by reducing the need to travel long distances to buy food. Communities with gardens often have reduced crime and vandalism.

Projects for community gardens include flower, fruit and vegetable gardening, preserving parks and woodlands, and beautifying streets with planters. The garden can be arranged with individual plots, a single plot or a combination of both. Community gardeners decide what is grown and how the garden is arranged.

Community gardens in Chicago also provide information for anyone interested in gardening. They offer applications to certify a garden, experience, job training and workshops. Many also offer plants to buy, swap or share. Greennet Plant Swap and Share, a coalition of nonprofit organizations and public agencies, provides opportunities to swap and share plants and to learn gardening in workshops and through volunteering. Growing Power’s Chicago Projects Office maintains Chicago farms and gardening projects in partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). Greencorps Chicago is a city program that operates in 76 communities. These organizations have online Web sites with more information so check them out.

Public functioning community gardening benefits individual residents, entire neighborhoods and municipal economies in numerous ways. Community leaders and organizations provide excellent assistance to interested persons.

Live long and well—garden.

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