Developments at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm

Students in Roosevelt University’s seminar SUST 230 Food are familiar with the Chicago Lights Urban Farm in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood, as pioneering Sustainability Studies teacher Maris Cooke has brought her classes to the farm for several semesters. We’d like to share with you how the farm has developed, with photographs courtesy of Laurell Sims.

Chicago Avenue has been the site for a community garden in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood since 2003, where one Chicago Lights program has been basing its work. Currently a new mission to expand this site into a year-round urban farm is being implemented through an expanded relationship between Chicago Lights and Growing Power, a nonprofit organization empowering communities by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high quality, safe, and affordable food.

Part of this development is the installation of hoop greenhouses that will grow leafy greens during the winter months. The Urban Farm will also provide job training and youth development so that youth may gain knowledge about life skills and job readiness, as well as, agriculture. Families will learn about nutrition and have access to affordable, healthy produce. Relationships in the community will continue to be fostered as people of diverse backgrounds work side by side and enjoy community celebrations together.

The subject generates considerable interest, as enrollments in the Spring 2011 online version of Cooke’s SUST 230 Food seminar make clear. If you are a currently-enrolled Roosevelt University student interested in taking SUST 230 Food or any of our Sustainability Studies courses, please get in touch with your academic advisor. If you are not currently a Roosevelt University student, we encourage you to investigate our degree options, and our course listings. For more information, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.

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