Chicago Lights Urban Farm

In Collaboration with Growing Power

The Chicago Lights Urban Farm empowers youth and community residents in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood to have increased economic opportunities through access to organic produce, nutritional education, work force training, and microenterprise development. It also provides a safe sanctuary and programs for children and youth to learn about urban agriculture.

Chicago Avenue has been the site of a community garden in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood since 2003. It became an Urban Farm in 2010 through an expanded relationship between Chicago Lights and Growing Power --a nonprofit organization empowering communities by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high quality, safe, and affordable food.

The Urban Farm provides job training and youth development so that youth may gain knowledge about life skills and job readiness, as well as agriculture. Families learn about nutrition and healthy cooking, and have access to affordable, organic produce. Relationships in the community grow as people of diverse backgrounds work side by side and enjoy community celebrations together.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are many ways to be involved with the Urban Farm! Volunteer Open Hours are Saturdays, April 5 through November 15, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Click here to learn more.

News Featuring the Chicago Lights Urban Farm

The Chicago Lights Urban Farm was featured on NBC 5 Chicago as part of their "Go Green" emphasis in November 2011! To watch the clip, "Urban-Farm Growing Opportunities for Those in Poverty," click here.

Our Urban Farm was featured in Newcity as one of Chicago's urban farms working at the intersection of sustainable food and low-income communities. Read the full the article, "The Garden Party: the dirt on Chicago's resurgent 'Urbs in Horto' movement," by Ella Christoph, by clicking here.


For programming information, contact Director Natasha Holbert at

For information on volunteering and CHAMP programs, contact Associate Director Stephanie Budd at sbudd@chicagolights.org.

Mark Your Calendar

Volunteer Days
at the Urban Farm
Saturdays through October 2014
Noon to 3:00 pm

Spring Off the Avenue
Friday, May 2, 2014
at the Urban Farm
An evening showcasing the work of Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy and the Urban Farm

Summer Day 2014 Volunteer Orientation
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Thursday, June 5, 2014, 3 to 4:30 pm
Room 4G, Gratz Center at Fourth Presbyterian Church

Melting Pot Recipe Competition
Thursday, May 22, 2014
at the Urban Farm

Farm Camp and Youth Workforce Development begin
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
at the Urban Farm

Community Cookout
Saturday, June 28, 2014
at the Urban Farm

Bank of America
Chicago Marathon
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Click here to learn how you can run to support Chicago Lights.