Mayor Rockingham of North Chicago contacted Growing Healthy Veterans offering the use of fourteen acres of city-owned property. The City Council of North Chicago unanimously approved this donation on June 5th, 2018.
Phase One of North Chicago Commons (NCC) utilizes a 100’x100’ section for a community garden for veterans, active duty military and North Chicago residents. This parcel is divided into individual plots for each of the three groups. There are two larger plots for Horticulture Therapy for veterans from the FHCC.
The Mayor, representatives from both the FHCC and Great Lakes Naval Station, along with community leaders and residents gathered for the opening of North Chicago Commons on June 30th.
Three months later the Mayor and the Alderman were joined by over fifty others – veterans, active duty and residents for a joyous Harvest Festival.
In those three months 33 veterans participated in the program, including veterans from 3 different FHCC programs and 6 veterans from Lake County who had their own plots; 9 residents of North Chicago with their own plots, and many others, including children who came to help. Over 1,000 pounds of produce were distributed to veterans and their families, residents and food pantries.
At the North Chicago Commons Harvest Festival, the Mayor told a group of over fifty people that North Chicago Commons is “one of the best things that has happened in North Chicago in a long time.”