The McKinley Park Community Garden (MKPCG) is a non-profit organization based in the neighborhood of McKinley Park in Chicago, Illinois.
Our Mission – McKinley Park Community Garden is a nonprofit, community-focused group established for the purpose of celebrating and cultivating garden space, sustainable gardening practices, and greater community spirit within McKinley Park. We do this through harvesting the gifts within our community, allowing us to share surplus food to those in need, learn from one another, and nurture community while joining around our common love of gardening.
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Fresh, organic, locally grown food can be hard to come by on the south side of Chicago. Food deserts are prevalent: some neighborhoods don't even have a grocery store, let alone one that sells organic produce.
So what can you do about it? Join the McKinley Park Community Garden. Community gardens are the perfect place to grow your own organic food at a fraction of the price you'd pay in a grocery store on the other side of the city. They're a sustainable, earth-friendly way to provide food for your family without the use of all the additional insecticides and herbicides that are used to grow conventional vegetables.
People who grow their own vegetables are more willing to actually eat their veggies, so while you're greening up the neighborhood and protecting the environment, you can also have the satisfaction of providing a healthier diet for you and your family.
Almost everyone knows what tulips, roses, or daisies look like, but what about coneflowers, salvia, or lupine? Native plants, or plants that grow naturally in a certain area, don't get the attention they deserve—at least not from people. Butterflies, bees, and birds, however, love them.
Before streets and buildings took over the landscape, native plants flourished on their own and provided lots of food and nutrition for wildlife. Now it's up to people to plant natives so that the animals that depend on them don't disappear.
A community garden is a perfect place to create lush, green space where native plants can thrive within city limits. An added bonus? Natives are beautiful, hardy, and require very little maintenance.
City folks live pretty isolated from wildlife. Sure, we see pigeons and maybe the occasional squirrel. If we're really (un)lucky, we might spot a rat after the sun goes down.
Those of us with enough time, energy, and money can occasionally escape from the city to experience "nature," but what about those of us who don't have the resources to leave our concrete neighborhoods?
Community gardens can bring wildlife back to those lifeless neighborhoods, giving city kids and adults the opportunity to interact with and care for all sorts of animals: native birds, butterflies, toads, worms, squirrels, bees, spiders, bats, chipmunks, rabbits, insects, snakes, ducks, geese, turtles, fish, frogs, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and more.
Gardens attract all sorts of people. Age, gender, ethnicity, economic status—these things all disappear in a garden.
People from many walks of life may end up working alongside and learning from each other. A retired Asian man. A black teenage girl. A twenty-something hipster. A Latina mother and her first grade son. You. Everyone has something to offer in a community garden.