Community Gardens in Hanover Park

Our Community Gardens are a part of our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative in the Greenbrook Tanglewood Community in Hanover Park. Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) is the practice of working with residents and communities to take a holistic approach to community reinvestment. Through this process our team has worked with residents to gain feedback on which aspects of their community needed improvement. Once we had the core areas identified, we worked with residents to see how we could achieve those improvements. The Community Gardening program was developed out of the need that residents wanted a community space to come together to achieve something for others, and not just themselves, as well as a way to enhance the greenspaces in their community. Due to the generosity of The GardenWorks Project, we have been able to create three community garden spaces throughout the Greenbrook Tanglewood Community over the past two years. The first garden is located behind the Tanglewood Clubhouse, a central location in the neighborhood. This garden was planted with a Youth group, and is maintained and watered by children in the Hanover Park Community Resource Coalition Summer Camp. Through this camp, the children are taught the importance of having a garden, as well as how to make healthy snacks based on what they can pick from the garden. This garden is flourishing, and we cannot wait to start harvesting the vegetables that we have grown. Continue reading

My Volunteer Experience

I first joined The Gardenworks Project, hoping to learn about gardening in the Midwest, after moving here from across the country. My hope came true, tenfold! For our first garden, we planted in large pots. I never knew that you could grow plants such as lettuce and kale in pots. We yielded more than enough for our family! I attended informative workshops held at The GardenWorks Project Resource Center in West Chicago. It was there that I learned about the Food Growers Network and the benefits of becoming a member. One of which is being able to pick out twenty seed packets from a huge variety of donated seeds. Continue reading

Marching into Spring

Marching into Spring I don't know about you, but for me, when the calendar turns to March I feel Spring is right around the corner, no matter what it looks like outside! It makes it even more real when you start seeing the beginnings of buds on trees, tiny green shoots in some flower beds, and even some weeds starting to grow in sunny areas. During the winter months, I've heard of some ambitious people who look through seed catalogs to figure out what varieties they'll plant next season or others who have even started their own seedling propagations inside using trays, heat lamps and pads. I've never quite had the space indoors to do any of that (or the time and energy!) I'm more like a good ol' perennial that goes dormant in the winter, saving all my resources for the long cold days ahead. But, in March I start to wake-up and start dreaming of what I'd like this growing season to look like in my garden.   Continue reading

Back to the Garden

Maybe it’s the slow melt of those dirty snow banks that have guarded the edges of the road for the last two months. Or perhaps it’s the smell of old leaves and earthworms, preparing and restoring the soil underneath for another year of growth. It might be the seed catalogs that have been piling up this winter, teasing you for another great summer harvest. Or maybe it’s a memory that continues to draw you back to another season of challenging days of watering and weeding. We all have different reasons. What brings you back to the garden? Continue reading


Do you have a local business? We would love to have your support this year.  We at The GardenWorks Project want to see your company succeed in your enterprise. Sponsorships are given many opportunities to receive corporate logo recognition at events and through social media and volunteer newsletters.  We also sponsor volunteer events for your staff, a great team-building opportunity and engagement of our greater community towards our cause.  Please see the 2018 Corporate Sponsor Packet for more details. While we always accept corporate sponsors, our deadline for including your logo on our build shirts is March 1st.Would you like more information?? Contact our Executive Director Jeannie Iseman at today! 

February Newsletter

Dear friends and supporters-   We recently released our 2017 Annual Gratitude Report. Check it out to learn more about what we were able to accomplish last year with all your help. Please consider donating today so we can exceed our goals this year!  Our annual volunteer Kick-off Meeting will be held on April 18th. RSVP today if we can count on your support this year.    Do you have a passion for planning events? We are looking for help planning an exciting fundraising gala in October 2018. Interested in helping, sign up today!    Continue reading

Where Can We Grow Next?

The holidays are over and the season for planning is upon us! Well, I suppose the season for planning never really ends for the board and staff members of the GardenWorks Project – although there is a healthy pause when our team shifts gears into garden build mode during the growing season. But now is the time for our team to think strategically about how we can refine our internal processes to improve upon the previous year’s successes serving our clients and communities. And since I am not as horticulturally gifted as my GardenWorks colleagues, I am happy to roll up my sleeves for some pre-season strategic planning. Continue reading

Community Gardens Accepted Now

Community Gardening Program In 2018, after a successful pilot year, we will be continuing our Community Gardening Program, and will be choosing another 5 new organizations to establish or expand a community garden in their chosen area!  Community garden organizers may apply to receive 5 raised-bed garden frames, seeds, seedlings, and support from The GardenWorks Project. Dig in and apply today! Continue reading

January News

Dear friends and supporters, Happy New Year! We have been busy preparing for the 2018 season and cannot wait to get started and look forward to seeing everyone this year.  Continue reading

December News

Dear friends and supporters, "Bless you for this program, it has been a heart desire [to garden] for years but could not afford it. I grew a wonderful garden and I got my neighbors to garden as well." - 2017 client We at The GardenWorks Project want to thank our supporters for being a part of our mission.  Your commitment to our organization is what drives us forward.  We could not do it without you.  We started in 5 gardens in 2012.  We completed 87 home gardens this year.  We have much to be proud of.   The fight against food insecurity does not stop here.  We have much to do, and your tax-deductible gift will support our 2018 programs.  Please give generously, and if you cannot give monetarily, please visit our website and consider giving your time in 2018 with our many volunteer opportunities. May your tables be full and surrounded with joy and laughter this holiday season! With much gratitude, Jeannie Iseman Executive Director   Our Founder and Board Member shared a powerful memory on the blog this month.  “She said the garden is like a bright light and adds a nice memory to this difficult day,” Julie’s brother said. The kids pointed out to their grandmother what each seedling was and she nodded and smiled. Read the full post here.      Continue reading