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2015 Woodlawn Demo Gardens Project

Volunteers Needed

Would you like to help with this project, a couple hours per month, or more?

Volunteer activities for this project include:
– project coordination / leadership
– crowd fundraising using
– low-maintenance and sustainable landscape design
– workshops about annuals, perennials, natives, pollinator habitats and edible landscapes
– seed starting for many kinds of plants, plant dividing, propagation from cuttings, etc.
– space preparation, planting, and maintaining the space
– plant signage, ‘more info’ web pages
– community outreach – promoting low-maintenance, sustainable gardening and beautification in the neighborhood

We’re looking for volunteers to participate in one, several or all the above activities. Both gardening beginners and more experienced gardeners are encouraged to get involved. If some of this interests you, please contact Bill Morrisett,

Project Description

Part of what GROW (Garden Resources of Woodlawn) does is to promote gardening and public area beautification in Woodlawn.  In 2014 we planted flowerbeds at 64th and Cottage Grove.

In 2015 we will expand our efforts. 2015 proposed projects are:

  • 64th and Cottage Grove – redesign and maintain the flowerbeds planted in 2014.
  • 61st and Eberhart – partner with Sunshine Gospel Ministries to create demonstration plots, including next to Greenline Coffee.
  • Cottage Grove between 63rd and 67th – add flowers to the new planters added in 2014 (proposal pending).
  • 64th and Drexel – partner with the Inspired Community Garden to expand the flowerbed plantings started last year.

We will be planting different types of demonstration beds such as high-impact and low-maintenance flowerbeds, natives, pollinator habitats and edibles. Demonstration beds will include signage, with more information available on the web. Our activities will include community outreach to promote gardening and beautification in Woodlawn and beyond. Additionally, an important part of the project is to combine promoting urban public space beautification and biodiversity with job skills development for those with obstacles to employment in low income neighborhoods.

Our activities in Woodlawn are part of two larger projects:

  1. Chicago Demo Gardens Project.The landscaping we’re doing in Woodlawn is part of this umbrella project with several organizations in Woodlawn and Back of the Yards.

The organizations share a common set of goals for a demonstration beds project at their location. They will share plant material (seeds, divides, etc.) and know-how. And they will share in the fundraising effort and the funds raised. (In part, what we are doing is helping to create a scalable, repeatable collaboration project type that can be used in any neighborhood.)

  1. CSLN/IOBY Crowdfunding Project.The Chicago Demo Gardens Project is itself part of the CSLN/IOBY Project. (CSLN: Chicago Sustainability Leadership Network, IOBY: In Our Back Yard). CSLN promotes Chicago community organizations collaborating with each other. IOBY is a crowd fundraising platform, similar to Kickstarter. These two organizations are helping us to collaborate
    with others, get started, and organize a fundraising effort. Here’s a link with more information:

The IOBY fundraiser will run from 2/20/2015 to 4/2/2015.