Human and natural communities in Joliet are being fed thanks to a recent project born by a partnership of the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc., Will County Land Use Department, Lewis University and The Conservation Foundation.
Through a grant from the Will County Land Use Department, Lewis University student Katie Ewing and other students she mobilized set out to build a community garden on the site of a former school. The goal was to create a community garden where users of the food pantry at the Joliet Chapter of the National Hookup of Black Women, Inc. could get fresh produce grown right there on site. It was then decided to further enhance the project by surrounding the garden with plants that would attract pollinators, which would in turn pollinate the food plants.
On planting day, our Will County Program Director Jamie Viebach enjoyed the company of Katie and other volunteers, who helped weed and plant about 170 plants and four serviceberry shrubs around the community garden’s border. A variety of native plants attract butterflies and other pollinators to the garden, which is maintained by the National Hookup of Black Women, Joliet Chapter to provide fresh, healthy, locally grown food for their food pantry patrons.
Hopefully visitors to the site will be encouraged to try their hand at growing food and planting native plants in their own yards as well. The Conservation Foundation is honored to be a partner in this creative and inspiring project that is meeting community needs in many different ways!
Written by Jill Johnson
We love partnerships!!! If you’re involved in a project we can help with, be sure to reach out to us at 630-428-4500!