Address: 2600 W Crystal
Neighborhood/Community Area: Humboldt Park
Garden Established: 1998
Protected by NeighborSpace: 2002
Social Media/Website: El Coqui Community Garden
About the Garden: El Coqui Garden is named after Puerto Rico’s beloved symbol of the Coqui tree frog. The site was once a vacant lot that sometimes invited trouble. The garden was originally started as a result of an interested Cook County commissioner and, in 2000 when Carmen Arroyo and a few other concerned neighbors got involved, they helped transform the land into the beautiful space it has become.
The garden now contains beds of flowers and vegetables and has served as a learning lab for some of the students at Von Humboldt Elementary School. When the 5th – 7th graders were learning about the Roman and Greek Empires, they grew vegetables that the people of those historic times would have eaten. Likewise, when they studied Mexico and Asia, the students, with the help of parents and grandparents, planted and harvested vegetables indigenous to those cultures.
When the kids said they wanted the garden to attract butterflies, they planted accordingly. The garden has become an “intergenerational oasis.” The community’s grandparents, toddlers and people of all ages in-between come together for picnics, potlucks and peace.