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Greenheart’s Green Thumbs

August 16, 2012

By Molly Friend, Greenheart Outreach Coordinator

Volunteer group at Xochiquetzal Peace Garden

CCI-Greenheart staff volunteer quarterly in the greater Chicago area. For our summer volunteer activity, we partnered with The Resurrection Project, an organization serving the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen. The Resurrection Project’s mission is “to build relationships and challenge people to act on their faith and values to create healthy communities through organizing, education and community development.” For nearly twenty years they have worked on various initiatives to develop a safe and healthy community in Pilsen. One of these initiatives is community gardens.

Last Wednesday and Friday, teams of CCI staff members went out to  Pilsen area community gardens, specifically the Orozco School Garden and the Xochiquetzal Peace Garden. We weeded, dug, painted, planted and had lots of fun! It was an enjoyable experience for all. We appreciated getting to see such wonderful green community initiatives and to support these gardens.

Annan Shehadi, CCI’s graphic designer had this to say about the experience, “Volunteering at Xochiquetzal Peace Garden was an excellent way to get directly involved in Pilsen’s community alongside community members and those who have been volunteering there for years. I had a lot of fun beautifying the entrance to the garden, but what I found most valuable were the enlightening conversations about gardening for social justice that I was able to have with people I would have never met otherwise. Community gardening has really become a necessity in the city of Chicago where many neighborhoods are without access to any sort of produce or healthy foods. I am glad I was able to take part in something worthwhile and while I lack some good gardening skills, I really enjoyed my time and I may be back again!”

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