Paradise Garden on Drake

Contact Information: Email a garden leader at paradisegardenneighbors@gmail.com
Address: 2214 N Drake
Neighborhood/Community Area: Logan Square
Garden Established: 1993
Protected by NeighborSpace: 2017
Social Media/Website: 
Facebook: Paradise Garden on Drake
Community Partners: Voice of the City

About the Garden:
For close to 20 years Paradise Garden on a double-wide, city-owned lot the corner of Drake and Lyndale in Logan Square was loved and cared for by Carlos and Blanca Serpa from Iglesia Pentecostal Church on Palmer. The garden functioned as a space for the church and local residents to enjoy the outdoors and build relationships. It hosted weddings in its gazebo and local youth groups would utilize the garden for nature exploration and team building activities. It was a safe space for teens to explore and do service in their community. The gates of Paradise were always open to local neighbors and residents, until 2013 when the church closed and the Serpas retired to Puerto Rico.

The future of the garden became uncertain and the space began to deteriorate. This prompted a group of dedicated residents to mobilize, with a common goal to ensure that Paradise Garden remain an open, green space for residents to enjoy for years to come, as was designated in Plan Commission’s 2004 Logan Square Open Space Plan.

In 2015 the group felt increased urgency to preserve the garden as another garden just a few blocks to the south (Green on McLean, created by residents in 2011) was displaced by development. The members of that garden have joined the efforts behind Paradise. Thanks to the organizing efforts of a few neighbors Paradise Garden has been rescued from neglect and is now well on its way to being a beloved community green space. Residents throughout the area already appreciate the beauty provided by the garden’s flowers and greenery, and often congregate in the garden during summer months. Parents with small children enjoy using the fenced in space for their small children to explore safely and roam freely. Lastly, the neighborhood around the garden is also host to many multi-unit buildings with apartments without yard access. For these residents the garden provides a common open space.