Public Work – Chicago Public School Learning Garden
Evergreen Academy developed a program with Openlands to facilitate interactive learning with outdoor classrooms, native plantings, and a vegetable garden. In an effort to promote ownership of this garden, the students were involved from the initial brainstorming sessions through the actual garden install; they planted the perennial beds, and also the edibles, to eventually be harvested by neighborhood families. Whitespire birch scatter the site, simulating a natural grove and providing a unifying aesthetic to the garden. An array of seating is incorporated throughout the design: custom reclaimed wood and concrete benches are grouped for instruction, grassy mounds provide an inviting place to play, and concrete seatwalls provide additional seating for large gatherings. Vibrant mosaics, crafted by students and designed by a local art group, adorn the concrete walls throughout the garden.