The next time you visit Streeterville's Lake Shore Park, take a few seconds to look around for Janice and Marshall.
You're likely to find Marshall composting, or planting flowers, or weeding one of the more than a dozen gardens he and Janice have created over the past half-dozen years toward the eastern end of the park, near where they live. The cheerful gal tirelessly watering the gardens is Janice.
If Janice and Marshall happen not to be in the park when you visit, take a longer period to admire their handiwork, and be grateful for their generosity and their commitment. Lake Shore Park would be a much less appealing place without it.
Marshall is a retired neurosurgeon whose hands once saved lives and now enrich them.
Their story is an old story, but one that can't be told often enough. It's a simple, inspiring tale of two people selflessly making their community a better place to live and visit – and having fun doing it.
Parks make a difference in people's lives, and you can make a difference in your local park. The Chicago Park District has a formal volunteer program, and you can always suggest a way to contribute your time that suits your individual talents.