We're Let's Build Garden City!, a reparations program based on the Southside. Our mission supports new student gardens ~ our vision is the first city without hunger & homelessness!
This fall our community fundraiser contributes to building new green spaces for black students & promoting green youth partnerships around the city!
Every $100 or more donated = a tree
$50 = edible shrub
$25-$10 = fruits & veggies
$0-$10 = herbs & flowers
Our founder + (Plus Sign) is a lifelong Southsider and co-founder of The Cooperation Operation 501(c)3 in the historic Pullman neighborhood and also helped start the GROWWS Youth Council in the westside North Lawndale neighborhood, alongside Lincoln Park Zoo, Gardeneers, UGC & other community partners. Our neighborhood coalition is helping a group of local teens turn a vacant lot into a green space. To support student gardens in your hood sign up as a potential student/educator/volunteer/partner org by leaving your info here!: tinyurl.com/lbgcRSVP
White people can sign up to donate your labor, plants, & supplies to support student gardens & greening black neighborhoods.
IMPORTANT - There are still some barriers to equitable water & housing access!
Other ways to support:
+ Sign Advocates for Urban Agriculture's water petition here: https://www.change.org/p/chicago-mayor-water-access-for-food-security #freethewave
+ Sign our petition to show support for the City Council motion to House the Homeless During the Pandemic: tinyurl.com/housethehomeless #housethehomeless
+ For out-of-towners who want to show support for student gardens & reparations in your area: Sign this global petition! tinyurl.com/gardencitypetition #letsbuildgardencity
Thank you for your support.
LBGC! at the Food Sovereignty Awards
Who are we?
Let's Build Garden City! is a diverse urban ag initiative including resources and educational ties spanning many community organizations. We have work experience in corporate and nonprofit spheres as well as grassroots movements; collectively we have our mitts in fields including most facets of the art world, education, and agriculture.
We spent last year signing up students and community members on the Southside at schools like Bogan & Kenwood, hold events at spaces like Museum of Contemporary Art & 61st Street Farmers Market; and amassed hundreds in digital signatures + donations online. Over the summer #lbgc2019 volunteers also began the process of prepping available lots for students and continuing outreach and cleanup into the fall harvest. We're reaching out to you to help students learn about food everywhere now!
Why have we focused on youth for our produce instead of planting directly in the soil? Most of Chicago's public schools consist of black and brown students. The Service Learning environment will keep our future produce protected from outside contamination thanks to the power of education. If we reach our goal, this will all be possible.
Our goal is for all of our resources and opportunities to transcend money, borders & all forms of oppression + inaccessibility.
LBGC! founder +
What do we want to create?
We seek to create a garden resource that all community members can access, service. and benefit from. Over a couple of seasons we've grown the infrastructure that will allow our city to have a successful bounty next harvest and for years to come. Our vision is the first city without hunger! Several distinct projects comprise our goals:
I. Double the number of Community Gardens via the empty spaces and neighborhoods in the city. We seek to facilitate additional raised vegetable+herb gardens to keep the food we grow safe from contamination due to pollution.
Keeping in mind the state of our land, we've set out to help students rehabilitate the soil- in the process reversing the built up effects of disinvestment, gentrification, and toxification. Each garden is based in permaculture so it won't need constant irrigation, pest control or maintenance to be a perpetual force of food, medicine, & overall environmental health. Let's Build Garden City! is empowering local students & community members to program at these "food forests" and make them accessible & colorfully attractive to all!
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II. Fill the Let's Build Garden City! Directory with educators, community members and organizations who can help students build strong relationships, educate, and facilitate donations.
Like all gardeners, Let's Build Garden City! participants will be delivering food and hauling large amounts of garden necessities - soil, organic compost and rocks, as well as transporting tools and machinery such as greenhouse supplies, shovels, rakes, and rototillers. They will need quality supplies to move garden materials.
Many students will want to construct home kits for seed starting and nursing delicate greenery. Everything from grow lights to a greenhouse can nurture plants before they are large enough to root outside and allow us to extend the growing season beyond the natural bounds of the Chicago climate. Wood is easier to come by however they will need plastic, steel and concrete donations to erect bigger structures as well as quality proven design assistance.
Community support liaisons can facilitate infrastructure*, tool donations to till and plant in fields, as well as access to essential resources like water & land. These are just a few examples of projects that our network is built to support.
III. House the Homeless: Your contribution will help us empower students to flip their communities! Grow houses can incubate food & medicine, as well as give shelter to those in need. Sign the House the Homeless petition here to support the coalition of advocacy groups calling on Chicago's City Council to pass an ordinance that would move medically vulnerable people out of shelters and jails during the pandemic: tinyurl.com/housethehomeless
Our 2019 winter program featuring IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Network), Grow Op Chicago, Food Matters, LLC & more!
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS TODAY!