Who We Are
Who We Are Today
Our members are a diverse group of longtime residents of Chicago's south side communities who all share an interest and dedication to beauty and respect for the earth.The combined membership years of our longest time members equals over a hundred years of gardening experience. In 2021 the garden will celebrate its 80th birthday. Today it continues to introduce itself to a new generation of gardeners, young families and community residents, who like their predecessors work to maintain the Garden's mission: to maintain a peaceful, cultural and inter-generational space that fosters community, history, learning and respect for the earth. See our link to the Chicago Park District on our home page for more information on community gardens in Chicago.
We are the oldest and largest Community Garden in the Chicago Park District's collection. The history of our garden can be traced back to before depression era America when the Victory Garden concept was in full initiation following its World War I creation. However, it wasn't until World War II that we took on the title Victory Garden, and like so many other gardens in cities throughout the country contributed to the war effort. Since then, our garden has evolved with our city and community. From the Great Depression, to the age of technology, through the popularity of "urban farming" and Chicago's evolving south lakeshore, the garden has stood inviting individuals to be part of a "victory" garden community.
We have had the honor of having the late George Beadle, Nobel Prize winner in Genetics and a former University of Chicago President, as a member. ABC Channel 7 News reporter Frank Mathie featured our garden as the last remaining Victory Garden in the city, and our garden's history was noted by former First Lady Michelle Obama in her 2012 book American Grown: The Story of the White House Garden and Gardens Across America.
To provide interested individuals with a natural, peaceful space where community is built and the beauty of the earth is respected, cultivated, and maintained.