The Sidewalk Garden tour starts at 10am from Chase Park, (4701 N Ashland), and tours the Sheridan Park and Buena Park neighborhoods, showcasing reimagined public spaces like the Sunnyside Mall and Triangle Gardens – and other spaces you might not traditionally think of as ‘gardens.' For a virtual tour, see the list of featured gardens below and the map for more details.
Chase Park, located at 4701 N. Ashland Ave., was one of seven neighborhood parks created by the Lincoln Park Commission. Five of them were named in honor of President Abraham Lincoln's cabinet members. Chase Park honors Salmon P. Chase (1803-1873), who served as Lincoln's secretary of the treasury from 1861 to 1864. In late 1864, Lincoln appointed Chase Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Early in his career, Chase became well known as a defender of runaway slaves and leader in the anti-slavery movement. As one of his initial acts as Chief Justice, he appointed John Rock, the nation's first African-American attorney to argue before the Supreme Court.
Stone Soup Leland House Garden
Stone Soup Leland House is a social-justice themed intentional living community at 1430 W Leland Ave.
Courtenay Language Arts Center
Courtenay Language Arts Center has two Learning Gardens. The Heart Garden
(Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers) was built 4 years ago. The Kitchen Community garden was built 3 years ago when the building transitioned to the new name.
These gardens are used for a wide variety of lessons in science and nutrition, including plant biology and ecosystem- stressing the interdependent relationships between plants, pollinators, and humans and healthy eating habits through seed-to-table gardening lessons. Math and engineering lessons are also incorporated as students learn to plot out the beds, plant according to seasonal calendars and design trellises to support plant life. Courtenay is also a CPS Eat What You Grow school where students are able to plant, grow, harvest, and serve from the lunch line the vegetables the fruits of their learnings.
The gardens also offer a practical, hands-on way for students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles to come together and learn and work collaboratively. Finally, they are a fun, functional, and engaging way to incorporate large and small muscle therapy work for students with special needs.
Triangle Gardens at Malden and Beacon
After 10 years of case, the Beacon Triangle is still a work in progress. The garden contains primarily native prairie plants, as they are best able to survive the hot dry conditions found on the triangle. The gardeners are especially fond of the prairie dropseed grasses on the end of the triangle and the leadplant on the east corner next to the grasses. Leadplants are one of the few prairie shrubs, and this plant is lovely with its silver-gray foliage and iridescent purple flowers.
The Sunnyside Mall Community Garden, located on Sunnyside Ave. between Beacon St. & Magnolia Ave., was established in the 1970's under the then 'Model Cities Program.' This community garden has struggled to survive in its diverse urban setting, but the love of the caring neighbors has helped it thrive for decades! It's a unique hidden Chicago gem.
Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave, is one of the many City Colleges of Chicago. Like many of the other sidewalk gardens, the greenery at Truman brightens up an otherwise concrete-laden environment. There is no formal campus garden yet, but there are a few staff members who care for the planter boxes on campus and students who water the planters.
St. Mary of the Lake
Established in 1901, St. Mary of the Lake Parish is an evolving spiritual and social community blessed by great diversity. The carefully tended gardens that surround the church offer peaceful respite along busy Sheridan Road in the Buena Park neighborhood of Uptown.
Ginkgo Organic Garden
Ginkgo is a community production garden in the Uptown neighborhood that uses organic methods to grow heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Ginkgo donates its produce to local organizations that serve people struggling with poverty, homelessness, and illness.
Each year, Ginkgo grows and gives from one half to three quarters of a ton of high-quality organic vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers.