Announcing: 2021 Recipients of Garden for Nature Grant

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Announcing: Recipients of Garden for Nature Grant

West Cook Wild Ones launches its 2021 Garden for Nature program by announcing grants totaling close to $5,000 to 11 nonprofit and public organizations in the Chicago area. Garden for Nature 2021 grants range from $250 to $1,000 to be used solely to buy native plants or seeds. Congratulations to all of them!

We’re so excited to announce this year’s grantees: 

    1. Austin Peoples Action Center, 5125 West Chicago Ave., Chicago to beautify two undeveloped front yards with native plants. Local residents and youth will learn to tend the gardens. Temple Har Zion in River Forest is a partner.  
    2. Citizens’ Greener Evanston, 1110 Judson Ave., Evanston to plant native canopy and understory trees on public school grounds.  
    3. G.R. Clark Elementary School, 1045 S. Monitor Ave., Chicago to revitalize a deteriorated part of the school’s play lot by building benches and planters with native plants. 
    4. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 611 Randolph St., Oak Park, to develop a rain garden that will capture rainwater from the roof and address existing flooding problems. 
    5. Julian Middle School PTO, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave., Oak Park to increase the diversity of their native gardens with the addition of trees and shrubs around the periphery of existing prairie beds. 
    6. Keystone Montessori School, 7415 W. North Ave., River Forest to replace an existing raised garden bed with native plants, a pathway, and other garden amenities for the students use, enjoyment, and beautification.
    7. Mothers on a Mission 28 & Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America, 4900 W. Augusta Blvd., Chicago to include a native garden on a vacant corner lot. The lot includes a vegetable garden and a reflection and memorial space for survivors of gun violence. 
    8. Our Lady of the Snows School, 4810 S Leamington Ave, Chicago to expand an existing pollinator garden with prairie and woodland plant species. 
    9. The Way Back Inn, Inc., 104 Oak Street, Maywood to plant a native garden at their residential facility to enhance client stay by providing a more healing environment for clients, birds, and pollinators. 
    10. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, 6445 West North Ave., Oak Park to plant several raised beds with native plants. These beds will be used to educate and engage families who visit the museum. 
    11. Yollocalli Arts Reach of the National Museum of Mexican Art, 2801 S Ridgeway Ave., Chicago to continue the re-development of a former abandoned corner lot to include a native plant garden 

About the grant and the process:

Garden for Nature funds projects mainly in western Cook County that engage young people in planting native gardens and natural landscapes that make their communities healthier and more beautiful.

This year’s grant recipients include schools, houses of worship, and community centers across the Chicagoland area.

All projects celebrate the restorative power of plants that attract pollinators and provide habitat for bees, butterflies and birds. 

They were chosen after careful review by a panel of Wild Ones board members, local native garden designers, Ken Williams and Christine Nye, and [email protected] Cook County staff.  Applications were evaluated after being scored on the basis of such metrics as plant selection, ability to implement and sustain, involvement and educational value for young people, visibility and contribution to an under-resourced area.

Grants were made possible by generous donations and members of the nonprofit West Cook Wild Ones, which shares information and educates landowners about the importance of their landscaping choices. 

[email protected] Cook County is a partnership of University of Illinois Extension and Forest Preserves of Cook County.  It recognizes and certifies properties that demonstrate environmentally sound landscape practices. Through its master gardener and master naturalist programs, [email protected] will make volunteer mentors available for the projects. West Cook Wild Ones board members will also help mentor. 

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