I moved to the Greater Grand Crossing Neighborhood in 2009.
There were overgrown weeds, garbage, illegally parked cars, discarded mattresses or furniture in the lots owned by the City of Chicago on the block where I reside.. The city was not cutting the grass fast enough, so I cut it myself.
I expressed to my neighbors that if we did not take pride in our neighborhood, no one else would.
In 2014 I decided to build a raised garden on one of the empty lots after witnessing a police chase through the lot. Year after year the garden grew bigger and gained in popularity from my neighbors.
In 2019, there was a fire at the house adjacent the garden and the house was torn down.
Before the house was torn down, my brother and I took down the fence. I stored the fence in my garage over the winter. During the summer of 2020 the fence was installed along my property and the city-owned property.
As a result of my efforts, no more fly dumping, no more police chases, just safe spaces!
This space has resulted in a inviting outdoor space for the community where we gather for outdoor events.
Click through the images to see how the space has changed from 2009 to present.