The Jardincito Nature Play Garden is a place where young children can play in and explore nature right in their own neighborhood. Rather than the traditional swings and slides, there are features borrowed from the natural world: an earthen mound, balancing logs, a herd of boulders, a pebble pool, a play deck, and play huts.

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Jardincito Parent’s Guide

Jardincito is unlike any other park or playground. It is a community-created space, designed, built, used and cared for by an innovative collaboration of neighbors, community institutions and nonprofits. The community’s effort is guided by the Jardincito Advisory Council, which is made up of neighbors, as well as the primary community partners Catholic Charities Our Lady of Tepeyac Head Start Center and John Spry Community Links High School.

The Jardincito’s land was secured for the long-term by NeighborSpace, Chicago’s nonprofit land trust for community gardens, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people.

THANK YOU to everyone who made the Jardincito possible:

The design and construction of the garden was made possible through the collaboration of Chris Gent Landscape Studio, Christy Webber Landscapes, +space, Student Conservation Association, and Alex Enarson. Together they guided the community’s vision and made it a reality.

The community’s hard work has been lifted by generous support from an anonymous foundation, the Driehaus Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, the Trust for Public Land, 12th Ward Alderman George A. Cardenas, the Stenning Conservancy, NeighborSpace and the Glasser and Rosenthal Family Foundation.

The Jardincito Garden Council: Carlos Azcoitia, Petra Gutierrez, Maria Deniz, Sophie Banks, Maria Garcia, Cary Rositas Montemayor, Jaime Seoane, Mary Anilla, Francisco Borras and Kate Kreinbring. (You too can get involved! The next meeting is at the Little Village Public Library, 2311 S. Kedzie, Saturday, November 14th from 10-11am. Questions? jardincito@neighbor-space.org or 385-275-8346)

And special thanks to all the individuals, agencies and organizations who helped in big and small ways: Yolanda Villegas, Reuben Padilla, Cary Lundin from Viva Lundin Productions, David Schalliol, CAPS Beat 1033, Bartlett Tree Company, Lake Street Landscape, Crosstown Tree Company, Cook County Forest Preserve District, Chicago Park District, City of Chicago, Northwind Perennial, Pizzo Native Plant Nursery, Our Lady of Tepeyac Elementary and High School, Spry Elementary School, Enlace, Lety Murray, Mig Rod, Chuck Jones, Reverend Rigoberto, Romina Castillo, Ted Zelinski, Architecture for Humanity volunteers, Yadhira Hernandez, Jose Castaneda, Araceli Salgado, Rosa Escobedo, Mr. Dixon, Glen Close, Yamely Nevarez, Christina Castro, Maribel Lemus, May Alice Lee, Zoe Post, Trish Curtis, Angela Tillges, Sean Shaffer, Simone Alexander, Sam Martinez, Juan Gonzalez, Carina Ruiz, Eduardo Paz, Victor Torres, Karina Torres, Orlando Davilla, Michelle Shelby, Rafael Rosa, Robin Cline, Lupe Garcia, Sally Hamann, Joe Zarrow, Angela Cornejo, Joni Thompson, Cecil La Cour, Jerome Scott and Silvia Ramirez.