One of our volunteers found a newspaper article from May 21, 1942 that talked about the original garden dedication. It didn’t reveal too many mysteries other than that a flag was raised, a prayer said and that the Senn High School band played.
But it provided plenty of inspiration!
In the spirit of my WW2 Block Captain predecessors, I suggested to our amazing core team of volunteers that maybe we do our own garden dedication on July 3 so we could go all out “ALL AMERICAN” in keeping with our patriotic WW2 approach… Always up for a great celebration to promote the garden they jumped on it and we’re now on for an afternoon of celebration! After almost 70 years a garden is once again blooming on the corner of Peterson and Campbell in Chicago’s 40th Ward.
In addition to the excitement around the dedication, we’re also announcing the mural by artist Karl Fresa and our partnership with Flashpoint Academy to make a documentary based on the amazing story of Chicago WW2 Victory gardens and how the city is, once again, leading the nation in urban gardening.
When I started researching this topic last winter I had no idea that there would be such an explosion of interest and am humbled and amazed on a daily basis how neighbors, (new) friends, strangers, passers by, businesses and others are so passionate about being part of a community and growing their own food. It is truly amazing. The support from Alderman O’Connor and his team continues to amaze. And we are thankful on a daily basis to Asian Human Services for allowing us to use the property…
So on this July 3, we’ll be celebrating a big chunk of history and a little sliver of food independence…
P.S. I heard today in a lunch with NeighborSpace that we may be the largest edible garden in the City of Chicago! At the very least, we’re the largest on the North Side. Don’t quote me, they’re still doing the tally!