I stumbled upon the loveliest Chicago community garden this week and am in awe of the beauty of this large and loved hidden gem at Waters Elementary School near Montrose and Western on the north side of the city.
The school received a grant from the well-known organic food company Annie’s and are featured on the site. Partnerships with neighbors have blossomed into a “truly symbiotic relationship” with the school. Originally, land-strapped neighbors were given garden plots in exchange for tending to the school gardens during the summer. Now each classroom has their own garden bed to tend, and older children run the lunchroom recycling and composting program.
“We began to rely on the neighbors not just for summer help, but also for weekly garden nights, big garden projects, and now many of them co-teach during field trips and student excursions.”
Members from all over the city come and plant their vegetables in the garden It is free, if you can get a space (there is a wait list). In return, these gardeners are responsible for taking care of the garden season after season, especially when school is not in session.
Kids (and adults) can learn so much from planting, caring and eating from a garden. I find it brings me pure joy to admire and respect the work and effort from this beautiful space.
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