Eden Place Nature Center

Three blocks from my home is Eden Place Nature Center, An Urban Oasis. Located in the Fuller Park neighborhood, Eden Place was formerly an illegal dump, but in 1997 Michale Howard started working to clean up the empty lots that eventually became Eden Place Nature Center. He had to have tons of lead contaminated waste hauled away, but now the site is a nature preserve within a city.

Today, Eden Place occupies an entire city block and they grow produce in the Summer for sale at their own farmers market. They have a Monarch butterfly garden that is the official Illinois site for MonarchLIVE, the international education and habitat restoration project focused on the Monarch butterfly. They raise animals like ducks, geese, goats, chickens and even have two Shetland ponies. In addition, they hold workshops and other events for school children from around the Chicago area.

Me and 2 chicks
Back in May, my neighbor and I bought four chickens and donated them to Eden Place. I wanted to return to volunteer and today I had the chance to help them. They are preparing for Oktoberfest and need directional and locational signs pointing out the restrooms, trails and other features. I helped cut old fence pickets into arrows and paint them bright colors. The humidity made paint drying slow and the actual lettering was not done before I left.

These Oktoberfests are private functions, but there is a Family Fun Fest later in the month so check out their website for more details. Eden Place Nature Center is a unique community resource, but like many non profits relies on donations and volunteers. If you find what this organization does interesting, please take a moment to learn how you can support their mission.

This was number thirty six, and 14 to go.