Community Gardens

The Village of Park Forest encourages the establishment of food and pollinator gardens on public and private land including at schools, workplaces, houses of worship and village owned vacant lots.

Why Community Garden?

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Ways to Start Community Gardening

  • Volunteer with an existing garden group. Contact the Sustainability Office at 708-503-8153 or cmalfeo@vopf.com to get connected.
  • Or, apply to create a new garden through one of the options below!

The Park Forest Community Garden Program

We support community gardens through two programs - the Village Owned Vacant Lot Garden Program and the Community Garden Grant Program. Both new and existing gardens are encouraged to participate in these programs. 

  1. Village-owned vacant lots are available to residents for community gardening. In exchange for maintaining the lot (mowing, etc) for the entire growing season, gardeners can receive a reimbursement of up to $250 for garden-related costs. Both proposed and existing gardens on vacant lots can apply for the program by filling out the Village-owned Vacant Lot Community Garden application here. Please email it to cmalfeo@vopf.com or mail it to the Sustainability Office at 350 Victory Drive, Park Forest, IL 60466.

  1. Gardens on public or private land including at schools, workplaces, and houses of worship are eligible for our Community Garden Grant, which provides up to $100 per gardening season for garden creation and development. Apply by filling out the Park Forest Community Garden Grant Program application, either online or in print, here.

There’s a History of Community Gardening in Park Forest

A community garden is any piece of land gardened by a group of people. Historically, community gardens have played an important role in the U.S. The Victory Gardens of World War II brought people together to garden on public and private land. At one point during the war, there were over 20 million Victory Gardens in the U.S., producing 40% of the nation’s vegetables.

The Village of Park Forest has a long history of community gardens going back to an allotment-style garden with 352 individual plots started in 1979. The program was very successful in bringing members of the community together to grow their own food, and continued through the 1992 growing season. The current Park Forest Community Garden Program aims to revive the tradition of gardening together and growing food within the community.

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