LETS GO Chicago
Leading the Energy Transition, Sprouting Green Opportunities (LET’S GO) developed out of a synergy between a youth garden program and the founding of a community house in Chicago in the summer of 2010. In its initial year, the program taught twenty neighborhood children how to grow food in the front yard of a house owned by the United Church of Rogers Park while developing sustainability solutions for the property as a whole.
In the summer of 2011, we joined Grand Aspirations for our inaugural Summer of Solutions, greatly expanding both our knowledge and ambition. What was once a children’s garden program morphed into a community of passionate individuals keen on making holistic change on the neighborhood level. We no longer focused solely on the education space, but began having discussions about how we could bring the lessons learned in the garden home to the families of the children themselves.
Our 2011 activities included:
- Running a free garden education program for 30 local children, ages 5-12
- Piloting a yard share garden to replicate with families in the community
- Designing and implementing sustainable home retro-fits at the Koinonia Eco Home
- Building a rain garden in Rogers Park and laying the foundation for a green infrastructure business to launch in 2012
- Hosting weekly skill shares to train ourselves and our neighbors in basic homesteading practices (e.g. canning, pickling, breadbaking, etc.)
In 2012, LETS GO hopes to be a model for transformative change engaging in projects such as:
- Expanding our urban yard share to include 3-5 additional vegetable gardens for use by low-income families
- Growing our children’s garden program and bringing the food into the kitchen for our first ever summer cooking classes
- Launching a worker-owned green infrastructure business to install rain gardens and other storm-water management features on public and private properties
Rogers Park has been noted as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. That says a lot for the possibilities of building an inclusive movement for sustainable community change. We are uniquely positioned here because of the tremendous potential for diverse community outreach as well as the incredible interactions that result from building relationships with people from all over the world.
Through the support of our friends and neighbors, we hope to foster change by inviting everyone to collaborate and share the journey of creating a viable future for us all.
Program Leaders: Molly Costello, Peter Hoy, Nell Seggerson, Gabriel Solis, and Ben Tucker
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (This one still works, but we’ll make a new one soon!)