The mission of the North Lawndale Greening Committee is to create a greener, healthier, and safer community where people of all ages have places to meet and play as they build a stronger sense of community.
To guide the North Lawndale Greening Committee in accomplishing this mission, nine goals were established:
Beautify the neighborhood and increase the biodiversity of plants and wildlife.
Increase public safety and environmental quality.
Eliminate derelict spaces that collect litter and larger debris, that provide gathering places for criminal or anti-social activities, and that become fire hazards to adjacent homes and businesses.
Attract new families to live in the neighborhood and to support a climate for healthy economic development that will provide family wage jobs close to home.
Provide recreation and educational opportunities related to greening and environmental issues for children and youth.
Improve the appearance of and promote broader community support for local schools, libraries, youth centers, and other cultural and educational institutions.
Provide parks, gardens, and other open space settings where senior citizens can relax and enjoy the outdoors in safety and where people of all ages can come together to work on issues, celebrate successes, and get to know each other better.
Promote the growth and ingestion of healthy foods while engaging in physical activity.
Support a Youth Garden Corp which helps us maintain our gardens while providing horticultural knowledge and skills to young people aged 14 and up.
The North Lawndale Greening Committee carries out its mission through an Open Space Plan created in partnership with Openlands and presented to the community on April 18, 1998. The plan has ten categories for establishing and maintaining open spaces in North Lawndale.
1. Community Gardens
The plan proposes that current gardens are supported and new ones added on vacant lots so that every resident is within walking distance of a garden or a park.
2. Recreation Space
There is a need for places for children, teens and adults to gather and be able to play games and sports
3. Public Parks and Boulevards
The plan proposes that new programs of environmental and cultural education be supported in existing parks like Douglas and Garfield. It calls for new parks to be added. Also that more trees and flowers, especially native flowers be added to and maintained in the boulevards and in the parks.
4. Business Street Landscaping
More trees, plants and signs, as well as benches added to business corridors such as Roosevelt, 16th Street, Ogden, and in Parking lots, and to “Gateways” or entrances to Lawndale such as Independence at the Eisenhower.
5. Industrial Campus Landscaping
The plan supports the new industrial corridors and proposes that ways be found to incorporate attractive landscaping within and along both old and new corridors.
6. Residential Street Landscaping
The plan encourages homeowners to improve the plantings around their homes and on parkways on their blocks and suggests that ways be found to provide education and support for this to happen. Traffic circles and cul-de-sacs should be included in this effort, as well.
7. Art and Culture Connections to Green Space
Combining plants with art such as murals and statues created by local artists celebrates local history and cultural heritage as it adds color and beauty to the neighborhood.
8. Schools and Youth Centers
School grounds are great opportunities to beautify the neighborhood and add recreation space at the same time. Also, the plan supports programs that increase the opportunities for youth to participate in gardening and nature programs in the community and at institutions such as the Field museum and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
9. Neighborhood Stability
The plan calls for continuing involvement by residents in activities that make the plan a reality. This will guarantee that improvements happen that residents want and not improvements that are ideas of people outside of the neighborhood.
10. Economic Development
It is possible to create jobs that are related to greening and landscaping, even urban farming is a possibility in a neighborhood with as much vacant land as North Lawndale.