This urban farm is a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) project with 1.5-acres of growing space. Altgeld Gardens originally served as housing for Veterans, and became public housing in 1956. Nicknamed Chicago’s ‘toxic donut’ due to having the highest concentration of hazardous waste sites in the United States. There were 50 landfills and 382 industrial facilities surrounding the area, many of the sites unregulated.
Established in 2010, the farm is located at the Intersection of 132nd Street and Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL. When the site was first established, 100 adults and 40 teens were engaged to buildout the farm site. The land was capped with almost 2 feet of clay and and additional three feet of wood chip. As CHA eliminated housing on the site, water was no longer available for the farm. Due to this issue, Urban Growers Collective grows native flowers and grasses on the site and the farm houses our urban apiary of 15 bee hives.