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News & Events from past year

New food and beverage incubator opens in Garfield Park

One of the largest food incubation spaces in the country is open for business in the East Garfield Park neighborhood

The Collateral Damage of $1 Vacant Lots
Chicago’s Large Lots Program seems like a good idea. But the reality has been complicated.
6 Things to Know about the Eco Orchard

The $1M Garfield Park development has garnered support and pushback

Vision Zero Chicago Hopes to Engage West Siders in the Traffic Safety Conversation

Traffic safety is not always the easiest issue to engage residents on, especially those with other pressing concerns, but Vision Zero Chicago seeks to change that.

Residents chime in on proposed fruit orchard

The Garfield Park Community Council recently teamed up with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development and the Metropolitan Planning Council to figure out the details of the Fifth Avenue Eco Orchard — a fruit orchard that would be built near the intersection of 5th Avenue and Sacramento Boulevard. And they want the community to weigh in...

Rent on the rise: How high will rent in Chicago climb?

Denitha Polk, like many other Chicago residents with low- to-moderate income, is challenged with financial and other barriers to finding rental housing she can afford.

A report released recently by The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University shows Cook County rentals “remain” unaffordable for the majority of low- and moderate-income households with an increasing gap in the number of available affordable units and the number of renters who need them...

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration to Create Opportunity in Chicago

We all know that small business is the growth engine of any economy. This is even more true for distressed communities where jobs are hard to come by, crime rates are high and access to fresh food is limited. To deepen Accion’s impact and with an eye towards Accion’s long term sustainability, I spent the better part of the last four years spearheading a joint venture to create The Hatchery Chicago, a $34 million facility that will be the region’s premier food and beverage business incubator when it opens later this year.  

Fruit Orchard will Add to Selection at West Side Neighborhood Market

The Garfield Park Community Council recently announced that they would be moving forward with plans to create the Garfield Park Eco Orchard in the community that would add a new variety of fresh produce to their existing neighborhood market.

An orchard on the West Side? After City Council vote and $500K in funding, the idea could come to fruition

The Chicago City Council recently voted unanimously to approve spending $500,000 to build a fruit orchard somewhere on the stretch of 5th Avenue, between Kedzie Avenue and Sacramento Boulevard.