Already a leader in urban sustainability,  Chicago is getting good at something typically thought of as reserved for central and downstate Illinois: farming.

EcoWatch noted in late June that Chicago is rapidly becoming the nation’s “urban ag capital.” See that image at the top of this post? All of the blue dots represent urban growing sites in Chicago, courtesy of the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project.

The Windy City boasts 821 growing sites, ranging from small non-profits to multi-million dollar indoor farms. As Nate Laurell, CEO of Farmed Here explains in the article, urban farming has a considerably smaller environmental impact than traditional outdoor farming for a number of reasons:

“…vertical farming is ideal compared to outdoor agriculture as it produces local food year-round, has a small geographic footprint, a high yield per cubic foot ratio and slashes food miles.”

The USGBC – Illinois EP Committee will explore one of the small non-profit operations in the city, City Farm, on Saturday, June 30. City Farm has moved down the street from its growing site of 12 years to 550 Division St., and for good reason:

“Our farm is intentionally nomadic; our farms are built to be portable. We want to bring attention to all the underused and unused city spaces. It’s our mission to utilize ALL underused resources; land, recycled materials, human and otherwise to create a direct impact on our local Chicago neighborhoods.”

Join us from 10:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. June 30 as the EPs “Take on Urban Farming” at City Farm. We will help ready the farm’s new location for the summer growing season, which includes some planting and weeding.

We’ll also hear from Paul Sippil, founder of Community Dining. He will offer expert insight on the exploding local food movement and talk about his organization’s mission to bring people together for substantive community-building over healthy, sustainable food.

Volunteering is free; just be sure to where comfortable clothes appropriate for outdoor activities, bring a water bottle and lather on the sunscreen, weather providing.

We’ll see you there. Register here today.

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