Introducing the 2023 CookFreshCommunity Urban Garden Grant Recipients
- Dunning Community Garden, located in Chicago, is looking to expand their community garden to house a dedicated “food bank section” to provide produce to the St Cyprian food bank, serving local area residents in need. This community garden is home to many community growers’ raised beds and the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm, a pollinator section housing two beehives. Grant funds will be used for vegetable seedlings, compost, and garden materials.
- Barn at Sexton Park Pollinator Garden is located at the entrance of the barn and existing gardens in Evergreen Park. This new pollinator garden will educate students and visitors on the importance of pollinators to our ecosystem and to learn about conservation, land stewardship, and environmental sustainability. Special needs high school and adult transition students aged 14-22 will visit the garden to participate in a work study program and a week-long camp is also planned for the garden. Funds will be used for pollinator plants, seed, and mulch.
- Lemont Township Community Garden, located in Lemont, is ran by community members and the Lemont Garden Club. All produce grown is donated to the Lemont Food Pantries to citizens in need. The garden also serves as a place where local primary and high school students gather to learn about growing food, pollinators (garden houses two hives), as well as fulfilling community service hours and working in the garden. The only source of funding is the garden club’s annual plant sale; grant funds will be used for soil, seed, vegetable seedlings, fertilizer, and garden materials.
Tri-Village Garden Club Food Pantry Garden is a collaborative garden serving three county communities: Bartlett, Streamwood, and Hanover Park. In 2022, the garden donated over 800 pounds of produce to their community food pantry, TVGC, and flowers to be used at a local church. With no outside funding other than from members, the garden seeks to expand in 2023 and will use grant funding for vegetable plantings, soil, seed, and garden material.
- St Irenaeus Pantry Garden, located in Park Forest, is a food production garden that provides the only fresh produce Saint Irenaeus Food Pantry has, while supporting other food pantries, when possible. Local youth utilize the garden to fulfill service requirements while learning gardening skills. This volunteer run garden receives little to no outside funding, so the grant funds will be used to purchase starter plants, seeds, fertilizer, soil, and compost.
- Reavis EARTH Program Garden, located in Lansing, is a hands-on learning school vegetable, herb, and pollinator garden (EARTH stands for: Ecology, Awareness, Research, Technology, & Horticulture). The garden will show students and the community the “farm to table” relationship, allow experimentation and research, learning how to better care for the environment through gardening, and train student farmers the intricacies of agriculture. Grant funds will be used for soil, vegetable plants, seed, and gardening tools.
- Evergreen Park Youth Garden’s mission and educational goals are building community and teaching youth to care for and grow, by learning the values of being a part of something greater than themselves, learning useful skills of growing food to donate to a local food pantry, as well as to take home. The funds will be used to expand their 2021 garden space in 2023 and will utilize garden funds for vegetable plantings, soil, compost, garden materials, and tools.