The Coastal Garden tour starts at 1pm from Margate Park, (4921 N Marine), and tours Uptown's original coastline, highlighting beautiful park and community gardens as well as restored native habitat along the lakefront. For a virtual tour, see the list of featured gardens below and the map for more details.
Located in the historic Margate Park community, Margate Park fieldhouse sits just east of Marine Drive between Foster and Lawrence Avenues on the grounds of Lincoln Park. Several community ornamental gardens that line the entry points of Margate Park are tended by devoted community gardeners who work in cooperation with Margate’s staff to beautify the area while participating in their community. Margate also has a labeled native plant area—created and maintained by park neighbors—that aims to both educate park goers and nourish butterflies.
Castlewood Terrace is on the National Register of Historic Places; the street is lined by large, historic homes that were previously home to Uptown film stars in the 1920's. Today's residents may be more modest, but they are still invested in beautifying the area for all residents to enjoy. The gardeners who tend to the Castlewood plot at the corner of Castlewood & Marine Dr. were inspired by their own pasts, noting that "We grew up on a farm full of flowers. Like to give it back."
Weiss Hospital Rooftop Farm
The Weiss Hospital Rooftop Farm is part of the hospital's initiative to support more healthy living in the community. The rooftop holds more than 15 garden beds, tended to by community members and organizations, and has previously been home to chickens and bees. The farm pairs with the Uptown Farmer's Market at Weiss to bring local produce directly to community members. The market and the farm received the 2011 Governor's Home Town Award for going above and beyond in making the community a better place to live.
The Sunshine Community Garden, located on Clarendon Ave. just south of Wilson, was built/established the week of June 21, 2005. We applied for and won a $5,000 grant from the Chicago Botanic Garden. The residents living in the Lakeview Towers high-rise, directly across the street from the garden, worked with Eliza Fornier, CBG horticulturalist and the Clarendon Park advisory council to design this garden with multiple seating areas.
Clarendon Park Community Garden
The Clarendon Park Community Garden was established in 2015 with the help of the Clarendon Park Advisory Council. We are community managed and practice only organic vegetable gardening methods. Our goal is to provide a place for Uptown, Chicago residents to grow nutritious food and help unite the community through gardening.
Clarendon Park Garden is serving as a pilot for small-scale commercial composting in the Chicago Park District. We work as partners with Social Ecologies to provide carbon for the bin while they provide nitrogen. Our garden benefits by getting to keep the finished compost and the community benefits by having a low-cost option for composting. The bin is currently not open to the public.
The bin can compost:
Untreated yard waste
The bin can NOT compost:
Meat, dairy, or oily foods
The bin is rat proof and up to code. The "Scent of the Center" is the sweet smell of healthy soil production at work!
The Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool Children's Garden
The Smart Love gardeners were inspired by the joys of gardening and the wish to share it with every child. The greenhouse, raised beds, and herb spiral were created with the teachers, gardener-in-residence and the children. It's "seed to table" every day.
Designed and built in 1929–1931, the Peace Garden was originally designed as a rock garden by Ernst G. Schroeder, engineer and chief draftsman to the Lincoln Park Commission. Low fieldstone walls outline planting beds. The central cascading fountain, once topped by a carved stone eagle, feeds into a little reflecting pool at its base. In 1986, the rock garden was rededicated as Lincoln Park's official peace garden. A 4-year pilot collaboration by the Chicago Park District and the group Artists for Sharing followed. Further reconstructive stonework by the Park District and the ongoing efforts of artists and local volunteers has led to the creation of a permanent peace garden and welcoming pedestrian way between Lincoln Park and the Buena Park neighborhood of Uptown.
Beginning in 2004, Marovitz Savanna was converted from turf grass to native habitat, brimming with native wildflowers, grasses, oak trees, and wildlife. Marovitz Savanna is one of over 60 Natural Areas maintained by the Chicago Park District. To become involved in volunteer restoration at this site, or another Natural Area, email the community stewardship program manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Uptown Coastal Walk is dedicated in fond memory to Clarendon Park Gardener, Cara Taylor. Read here to learn more about Cara's life and work in the garden.