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Morganway Community Garden and Park: There is no Unity Without Community

Several community residents from Morgan Street 7600-7900 Block Clubs participated in cleaning, prepping, and planting of flowers provided by Greencorps Chicago's Great Perennial Divide.

Ernest Sanders

As part of Auburn Gresham's strategic initiative to "make enjoyment of the arts, culture and open space," several community partners  joined the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC) to revitalize the Morganway Community Garden and Park, located at 7844 S. Morgan.

This strategic initiative focuses on the following:

  • Create more arts and cultural programming at the library and other spaces throughout the community.
  • Foster beautification of the community through expansion of block clubs.

    Perspectives Charter Schools (PCS)-Calumet students joined Urban Gateway's Nicole Beck in the assembly of the mural at the Morganway Community Garden and Park.

    Ernest Sanders

  • Assess the community’s open space and beautification needs.

With assistance from Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Chicago (LISC/Chicago), the first phase of this project (completed August 2008) encompassed design, layout, and painting of a 24' x 8' mural that several Perspectives Charter School students created. Additionally, these students video recorded the entire process as part of documentation efforts. This mural embarks on one of many neighborhood initiatives - "There Is No Unity Without Community."

The first phase also consisted of some landscaping and tendering of existing garden beds, and later incorporates brick pavers, cedar chips, and mulch. The second phase includes design and placement of mosaic benches.

GADC recognizes that this feat can not be accomplished without leveraging civic and community partners. As such, we have partnered the following organizations to reshape this open space:

Another goal of our project is to allow our residents to continue to help revitalize Auburn Gresham’s venues for public arts, community gatherings, and healthy recreation. More specifically, this project will help to reduce litter dumping, while supporting GADC’s Litter Free Zone Initiative of litter prevention and recycling.

Caesar Hill (St. Leo Veterans Campus) and Mrs. Juanita Love (Morganway Homeowners and Residents Association) collaborate about placement of plants from Greencorps Chicago Great Perennial Divide.

Ernest Sanders

Often vacant open spaces solicit unwarranted activities by those who do not have a vested interested in the community. This reshaping project hopes to deter such activities and increase our community’s ownership in preservation and educational activities. Additionally, it will give local students the opportunity to receive community service hours and participate in aspects of economic development.

To see a preliminary design of Morganway Community Garden and Park, click here.


To foster and promote revitalization of the community by designing and implementing programs that improve the community’s economic viability; increase availability of quality housing to people of different income levels, while maintaining and improving existing affordable housing; and enhance delivery of social services, particularly to senior citizens.

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