Earthkeepers Unite at The Blue Island Corridor
On Thursday, September 27th, SCA, Timberland, Journeys, and many local partners came together to transform The Blue Island Corridor from an abandoned lot into a renewed green space. Over 70 participants teamed up to green about 3,500 square feet totaling more than 400 conservation service hours. These conservation leaders strapped on their timbs to plant just under 700 bulbs, perennials, and trees, install a 200 square foot pollinator garden, and remove over 200 square feet of highly invasive fragmites. To check out a time lapse of the day click here!
To kick off the day, participants began installing the park by heaving massive amounts of top soil and aggregate creating the foundation of the park. Truck load after truck load appeared but these Earthkeepers only increased their pace, looking forward to the afternoon where they would plant all the shrubs, trees, and bulbs.
A few paces left of the park, a group of volunteers were working vigorously to revitalize a drainage swale overrun with extremely invasive fragmates. While on the Northern end, another group advanced garden areas for a low-income senior resident center, including winterizing their food patch and installing a pollinator garden. To complete the transformation of this corridor, a fourth group created even more green space by planting trees and revitalizing existing tree rings.
Only stopping for lunch, the employee volunteers worked tirelessly beside the community to complete this transformation. Sinking their boots in the newly laid soil, participants began strategically planting shrubs and trees all over the park. This green space was coming to life and to complete its metaphorisis, 300 tulip bulbs were planted.
At the drainage swale, volunteers raced to remove as many fragmites as possible. In their place, native perennials were planted and the area mulched. Last but not least, volunteers at the resident center had finished winterizing a community garden with a truck load of top soil and mulch each and were swiftly working to install a pollinator garden by planting over 200 native perennials. This garden will act as a pollinator connector, providing essential habitat and food for bees, butterﬂies, and more in the vast urban Chicago area.
With dirt all over their boots and smiles on their faces, this team of over 70 participants came together to green around 3,500 square feet of urban spaces including an “instant” park and pollinator garden. These spaces with provide the surrounding community including a police and fire department, senior resident center, and schools with a green reprieve from hectic urban life. For Timberland and Journeys, transforming urban spaces is all in a good day’s work.
Special thanks to Site Design and Alderman Solis for their partnership and to Midwest Groundcovers, Lake Street Supply, Lurvey Supplying Landscapes, Speedy Gonzalez Landscaping, Fiore Nursery and Landscape Supply, and Home Depot for their sponsorship.
Special thanks to Timberland and Journeys for supporting SCA.