Calumet River Garden Gateway

Project Profile

Project Location

Chicago, IL

Project Lead

NeighborSpace

Budget

$68,000

Money Needed

$68,000

The Calumet River Gateway Garden (CRGG) will transform 33,100 square feet of undeveloped neglected land in South Chicago into a community-designed and community-maintained nature garden. Community stakeholders and leaders, working with NeighborSpace, will develop open space and neighborhood leadership teams by being active agents at every stage of development. Intergenerational residents will utilize this restorative garden for family-oriented play, exercise, and stewardship.

More than 21,000 people live within a mile of the CCRG, located at the corner of 92nd Street and Buffalo. The garden is adjacent to three affordable housing sites that house both young families and seniors. CCRG will partner with the early childhood and family center, El Valor, in both design and programming for early childhood and elementary children to explore and play. The garden will offer children a daily dose of nature. Older nearby residents will also have access to strolling walkways, outdoor gathering areas, and gardening activities to provide protection against social isolation and improve community health.

CRGG will create a much-needed public greenspace and will be a highly visible project anchoring future economic growth. The project will serve as a model for how to design community-managed natural play spaces and stormwater management for industrial areas.

Long term, phase two of the project will provide the first safe public access point in the area to the heavily industrialized Calumet River. Restoring public access to regional waterways at the site will be a significant benefit to surrounding underserved communities.

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