May 25, 2024

We’ve been busy at work and made lots of progress to see our goals materialize. Our project continues to grow into something greater than what we originally envisioned, many opportunities and new challenges.

Pictured: The Updated 59th Street Englewood Community Garden Poster.

In the last two weeks, we ramped up our engagement with the Englewood community. Joseph and his mom met with Donnie Carter, an 85-year-old community curator famous for contributing to the signs of local businesses, among them, Harold’s Chicken! Joseph went to visit him at the senior home where he lives. Donnie continues to make art and even gave Joseph a tour of his art gallery in his living room.

We hope to collaborate with Donnie at the garden to fulfill our goal of helping Englewood and to honor an important member of the community and their legacy. Donnie has been really excited to be part of the project, creating incredible garden’s signs with his special touch.

While working on the garden, we heard some noises near the abandoned house next to the plot of land. Talking with Joseph and his mom, Amir shared how he was stuck in a rut and didn’t feel he had an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution. Joseph and his mom asked Amir if he wanted to get his hands dirty and help with the garden. Now, we have a new and hardworking member at The 59th Street Garden!

Pictured: Donnie Carter painting signs for The 59th Street Garden (Left) and Amir and Joseph  (Right).

Our outreach is going well. Joseph presented on The 59th Street Community Garden at the Englewood Village Meeting on May 21st. It was a great opportunity to share all the progress we’ve made to encourage other community members to spread the word to youth and reach as many Englewood residents as we can.

Pictured: Joseph presenting the completed sign of The 59th Street Community Garden E.V.M.

Great news! The Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation notified us that our team is a recipient of one of their innovation grants to organize an Englewood Innovation Summit. The Grant will help cover the costs of organizing and developing the event at the university. We plan to hold the Englewood Innovation Summit during the 4th week of our garden programming. We hope to have the Policy Summit at the University at the Mansueto Institute of Urban Development and International House’s Assembly Hall for the event. We have a lot of ideas around event logistics, but one thing is for certain, The Englewood Innovation Summit is happening!

So far, one of the most important takeaways of this whole experience has been that the progress we’ve made is because of the effort being put in. These last two weeks, Joseph and his mom have put incredible effort into making this community garden a reality. Things are just getting started and we can’t wait to see our efforts come to fruition for Englewood and its residents.

Scroll to Top