Summer in the Midwest equals eating a la fresco. Restaurants, hotels, and cafes swiftly adorn their outside spaces with beautiful plant arrangements. Everything from tropical flowers to indigenous ferns is used to fill empty pots and grab our attention. However what happens when winter finally comes? Chicago Plant Rescue is offering an answer. CPR Sidewalk is a program for businesses to donate perennial plants to Chicago community gardens. This partnership program helps businesses transition out their plant arrangements while enhancing Chicago’s urban landscape and diverting plants from the waste stream. CPR provides window clings to businesses to signify their donor ship.
CPR Sidewalk’s first partnership is with Lincoln Station, a bar and restaurant located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Owner Benn Hamm is a Chicago native and believes the outdoor patio stands for more than just extra seating. The patio with its lush foliage is a key component to Chicago’s urban landscape. Benn not only goes to Matt Hoffman’s Urban Garden at the Green City Market to pick out plants for Lincoln Station, he also installs all the plants himself. His passion for gardening started at a young age. At 10 years old he had a thriving vegetable garden with his best friend. They would travel the neighborhood selling their veggies out of their wagon. Also Benn has taken a few Horticulture courses at the University of Illinois, so he knows his perennials. He currently resides in Wrigleyville with his wife, two kids, and their urban garden. They love to take advantage of Chicago’s vast amount of parks and gardens, especially the lakefront.
Lincoln station has donated all of its viable perennial plants! They will find homes in community gardens and schools throughout Chicago in the coming weeks. Go check out Lincoln Station’s window cling! Also please tag Chicago Plant Rescue on Instagram of businesses you think would be great partners for CPR Sidewalk.