Betty Swan Community Arboretum

Contact Information:
Address: 3836-48 W Arthington St
Neighborhood/Community Area: West Garfield Park
Garden Established: 1997
Protected by NeighborSpace: 1999
Social Media/Website:

Facebook: North Lawndale Greening Committee
Community Partners: North Lawndale Greening Committee     

About the garden: The Betty Swan Community Arboretum is a living laboratory in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood where residents, students, and treekeepers learn about and practice caring for city trees. This arboretum was previously called the Arthington Community Garden, created by Betty Swan in 1997, a resident leader of the 3800 W. Arthington block. Redesigning the garden into a tree park was the idea of Glenda Daniel, a staff member of Openlands, and Velma Johnson, our hardworking president of the Greening Committee who passed away in October 2008. Openlands and the North Lawndale Greening Committee met with the community and design students from the Illinois Institute of Technology on April 21, 2007 to examine designs and to hear ideas for making the arboretum a teacher education center as well as an outdoor tree museum and park.

This inviting learning garden and classroom includes apple and crab-apple trees and is often used as a community space for neighbors to host children’s parties, take graduation photos, have a picnic lunch, and even for quiet time for reflection.