We're Let's Build Garden City!, a service learning partner program based on the Southside. Our mission supports new student gardens and promotes young people across the city growing their own food, medicine, & more.
This community fundraiser contributes to engaging students at local high schools, staffing Let's Build Garden City! public programs, and a grant for students starting NEW gardens in 2020. Supported by the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, in December we held our citywide "How To Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood" workshop series.
Programs continue into the new year with more "How To Make A Million..." workshops in Spring and our annual Garden City Parade to celebrate summer!
Thank you for your support.
LBGC! at the Food Sovereignty Awards
Who are we?
Let's Build Garden City! is a diverse service learning platform 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 spend all 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 next year!
Why have we focused on schools for our produce instead of planting directly in the soil? Most of Chicago Public Schools consists of black and brown students. The high school 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. In our only operating year, we're grew 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. For instance, surrounding a garden with wildflowers and mycelium (mushrooms) will serve to cleanse the polluted soil and attract bee activity, benefiting our plants and beautifying our communities.
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 at least two quality wheelbarrows to move materials within the gardens.
Many students will want to construct greenhouses for seed starting and nursing delicate greenery. 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. They will need plastic, steel and concrete to erect greenhouses as well as quality proven design.
Community support liaisons can facilitate infrastructure*, tool donations to till and plant in fields, as well as hoses and other systems to irrigate our plants in times of drought. These are just a few examples of projects that our network is built to support.
III. The #10gardens Community Grant: Your contribution will help us empower students to flip their own hoods! 10 grants funded by the community with $1000 each for students starting NEW garden projects!
featuring IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Network), Grow Op Chicago, Food Matters, LLC & more!
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS TODAY!