Pilsen is a predominantly Latino community, with closely packed houses and very little green space. Resident gardeners are working to turn all available open lots into thriving gardens.
La Alianza Verde, a network of local gardeners, leads this effort. Every year, they organize a tour of gardens around the neighborhood, including Growing Station (pictured).
For their Toolkit project, partners in Pilsen transformed a vacant lot into a native play garden that will also be used as a site for educating the community about climate change.
Local gardeners helped plant the garden, together with community residents. It includes milkweed, which is a crucial food source for Monarch caterpillars.
La Alianza Verde is leading an effort to plant milkweed in gardens across the community to turn Pilsen into a Monarch sanctuary. Like many of the Michoacanos who live in Pilsen, Monarchs migrate between Mexico and Chicago and make their homes in both places.
Artwork in the garden prominently features the Monarch butterfly. The mural was created by a renowned local muralist, Hector Duarte, with local youth.