What does it take to protect community gardens?

It’s been another fruitful year for NeighborSpace, Chicago’s only nonprofit community garden land trust. Having acquired six new gardens in 2014, we currently protect 97 community gardens in Chicago on behalf of dedicated community groups, coalitions of neighbors who work together to make these gardens grow.

2014 NeighborSpace Map

Here’s what it takes to protect all these community gardens:

  • Before gardening can begin, NeighborSpace performs extensive environmental testing to ensure that the land is safe for gardeners and other neighbors who enjoy the garden.
  • NeighborSpace maintains hydrants at 71 community gardens that need water access.
  • NeighborSpace covers insurance, land surveys, raised bed construction, and access to tools, costs that often derail other community garden efforts, so that gardeners can focus on gardening and community building. 
  • Ultimately, we hold the title to these sites forever so that NeighborSpace community gardens are never uprooted.

NeighborSpace does all this so that each garden blossoms as an expression of gardeners’ visions. We’ve included a flyer which shows just a few examples of the 97 unique sites protected by NeighborSpace. I think you’ll be delighted by the variety of these open spaces.

hermitage capture for editing

Currently, NeighborSpace protects gardens in 36 of 50 Chicago wards, encompassing 23 acres. That’s over 17 football fields of green space in parts of the city where the park and preserve system can’t always reach.

Only 20% of Chicagoans live within a quarter mile of a community garden. We believe that number should be 100%, and we are always working to increase the number of gardens we protect. Will you plant the seeds that will grow into further vibrant community gardens for Chicagoans by donating to NeighborSpace?

donate now

Thank you so much for your consideration, and we hope to see you in the gardens. 

Special thanks to Public Good Software for their help with this campaign.