What We Do


Region: Chicago, Illinois


Do you want to grow your own food in a garden you share with friends and neighbors?

Are you a part of a community garden that you think could be improved so that more people would participate, share work and resources, and manage the garden together?

GardenKeepers is an interactive, hands-on introduction to Community Gardening focused on Earth friendly, chemical free methods conserving natural resources. Participants will learn how to organize and run a successful, long-lasting, community allotment garden together with friends and neighbors. GardenKeepers is designed to help both an existing garden that may need this broad range of information and support as well as a garden that is in the “We Wish We Had a Garden!” stage.

The classes are held at the McKinley Park Branch Library and are taught by gardening experts and experienced community garden organizers.

In addition to the class, participants will receive:

  • A manual that will help guide them through the process of organizing, designing, and maintaining their garden
  • A modest GardenKeepers sign to post in the garden. 
  • Membership in the GardenKeepers Community Food Garden Network, which includes a regular, emailed newsletter providing information on gardening issues and ideas as well as networking with other gardeners to share experiences, ideas, and info.
  • Free Continuing Education Classes to supplement the class presentations and help gardeners work out problems as they sprout in the gardens.
  • Help with lumber, soil, and other materials, if resources are available, through an application for a GardenKeepers’ Mini-grant.

GardenKeepers is presented twice a year. It is designed for groups, not individuals. A minimum of 2 people from each community garden is required and space is limited; however, more garden members may attend if space allows.

For more information, please contact gardens@openlands.org.
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