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 for a community garden in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood since 2003, where Chicago Lights Academic Success in Schools bases its work. It became an Urban Farm in 2010 through an expanded relationship between Chicago Lights and
--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.
Garden plots are available to neighborhood residents who live within a five block radius of the farm. There are plenty of ways volunteers who live beyond this radius can help plants and relationships grow at the Urban Farm.
In June 2011, Impact 100 awarded a special grant to Chicago Lights to expand programming at our Urban Farm. To read the press release announcing Impact 100 Chicago's $100,000 grant to the Chicago Lights Urban Farm to build a hard-shell green house, click
There are many ways to be involved with the Urban Farm! Volunteer Open Hours will begin on Saturday, April 6 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Click here to learn more. What's New at the Farm?
Even during the cold months, our programming continues! Learn how our Friday Night Cooking Club fosters community in
from our February newsletter.
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,"
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. More Video Clips To watch "Movers and Shakers," a video short telling the story of the Chicago Lights Urban Farm, click here.
Carmen Carvi created the following clip as a submission for the One Chicago One Nation film contest in spring 2010. At the time of the filming, the Chicago Avenue land was used as a community garden. The propoerty is now a year-round food producing urban farm and provides healthy, affordable food for the residents of the surrounding Carbini neighborhood.
Learn About Growing Power and Will Allen
Chicago Lights works closely with Growing Power on its Urban Farm program. Growing Power's CEO, Will Allen, is a leading voice in the urban farming movement. Learn more about our collaboration by clicking