On July 12, our Pangeans headed to Vernon Park Gardens located in the lot next to one of our properties, 6033 S. Vernon. Chicago Eco House transformed the lot into a beautiful flower farm and park for the Woodlawn community. We assisted with gardening, landscaping, and minor construction of a community stage.
Chicago Eco House is a non-profit that works to restore the inner city through sustainability and green energy. They are doing exactly that at Vernon Park Gardens as it is the only commercial scale off grid system in Chicago! A rainwater catchment system is used to irrigate the flowers with solar panels powering the pump. The water is collected from the rooftop at 6033 S. Vernon. How cool is that!?
Throughout the summer, volunteers took time out to help beautify the Vernon Park Gardens and on September 8, Chicago Eco House hosted the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! We were so excited to attend and see how much progress was made since we visited in July.
To kick off the grand opening, a member of the community recited a powerful poem that set the tone for a great event ahead. Throughout the event, there were remarks from Sandra Henry, the Chief Sustainability Officer at the City of Chicago and introductions from the garden council. The council discussed why they joined and how much of a positive impact the garden will have on the community such as creating a safe space as well as economic opportunities for the youth. We were also WOWed by a dance performance from an elementary student in the neighborhood.
The ribbon cutting was one of the highlights of the event. You could see the smiles on everyone’s faces as they cut the ribbon and officially opened the garden to the public. It is a great feeling knowing that everyone’s hard work was well worth it! The event ended with refreshments and mingling. Everyone also gathered on stage to show their best dance moves. It was truly a great time!
There was a great sense of community being surrounded by neighbors and friends and we can only imagine the awesome community events that will take place in the garden. We look forward to seeing it grow for years to come.
Watch the garden as it continues to blossom by following Vernon Park Gardens on Facebook at fb.me/vernonparkgardens and on Instagram @vernon_park_gardens.