Please read the below press release from the Bowmanville Community Organization and find out how you can help!
For Immediate Release October 11, 2017
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES FUNDS TO PRESERVE & EXPAND BOWMANVILLE GATEWAY GARDEN
Today the Chicago City Council approved a $70,000 grant to preserve and expand a thriving community garden in the Bowmanville neighborhood. The grant, sponsored by 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O’Connor, provides Open Space Impact Funds (OSIF) to acquire a large vacant property along the Union Pacific North Line Metra tracks that was threatened by development. This land will be held in trust by NeighborSpace, Chicago’s land trust for community gardens, and integrated into an adjacent community garden maintained by the Bowmanville Community Organization (BCO). The resulting area will be one of the largest on the City’s north side permanently dedicated to community gardening.
The City of Chicago’s OSIF program allocates fees that are charged to new residential developments to pay for land acquisition and park improvements in each of Chicago’s 77 community areas.Bowmanville is located in the Lincoln Square Community Area. The OSIF grant will be combined with a generous grant of $50,000 from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, as well as $50,000 raised by the BCO from local residents, businesses, and institutions. These funds are being used to buy the property and to create facilities for year-round food growing, ecological education for children and parents, accessible gardening for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and a quiet oasis in a hectic urban environment. Individual gardeners will enjoy expanded growing areas, and local institutions and businesses will have the chance to invest in and maintain dedicated growing plots.
Ald. O’Connor’s sponsorship of the OSIF grant follows his support for a pocket greenspace at Bell and Bowmanville Avenues in 2010, the acquisition and restoration of the 25 acre West Ridge Nature Preserve in 2015, and the dedication of park space on the site of the former Edgewater Hospital.
“By providing these funds, the City has guaranteed that this land will remain open and green in perpetuity,” said Stew Weiss, Planning & Development Chair of the BCO, “Alderman O’Connor has been an instrumental supporter of the community’s efforts to make our city more livable. His help, along with the amazing generosity of the Driehaus Foundation, and our friends and neighbors, ensures that there will be room enough for all of us to grow.”
Ben Helphand, Executive Director of NeighborSpace added “Preserving the Bowmanville Gateway garden is a perfect example of why NeighborSpace exists, to protect community-managed open spaces where they are threatened with displacement. We love how the alderman, the Driehaus Foundation, and the community all came together to make it possible for NeighborSpace to purchase the property.”
Alderman Patrick O’Connor lauded the accomplishment, “This is the second time the people of Bowmanville and I have collaborated with NeighborSpace to add green space with gardening capability. Both spaces are a testament to the cooperation and trust that builds between community and local government.”
NeighborSpace is the only non-profit urban land trust in Chicago that preserves and sustains gardens on behalf of dedicated community groups. NeighborSpace sponsors and manages 114 community gardens in the City of Chicago. http://neighbor-space.org/
The Bowmanville Community Organization serves over 1,500 residential households in the area bounded by Ravenswood Avenue, Foster Avenue, Western Avenue and Rosehill Cemetery. http://bcochicago.org/
The Driehaus Foundation benefits individuals and communities by supporting the preservation and enhancement of the built and natural environments through historic preservation in neighborhoods throughout Chicago, encouragement of quality architectural and landscape design, and conservation of open space. http://driehausfoundation.org/
Download Press Release here.
Celebrate the community’s ownership of the Gateway Garden while experiencing the new Half Acre taproom! Half Acre and the BCO have reserved this night solely for us. They will provide food and an array of delicious brews to celebrate and support the garden. All proceeds go to the garden fund to support the garden build out. $40 tickets include food & beer. This party is capped at 75 tickets so get yours soon! See you there!
Read more about what we’ve accomplished here:
Tickets Available Here:
Date: Wednesday, October 18th 7-10pm
Location: Half Acre Balmoral Tap Room, 2050 W. Balmoral Ave.