Friday, July 29, 2022




Did you know that seed bombs are great for nature? According to Lincoln Park Zoo Community Engagement Facilitator and North Lawndale Community Program Lead, Jaeda Branch. “Seed bombs are great for the environment because they give us a lot of edible things that are great for urban wildlife pollinators.” This past May, Illinois Humanities, The Lawndale Popup Spot and UCAN’s Youth Peace Council sponsored and hosted their 1 Lawndale Peace-making Summit. I had the honor and pleasure of documenting the planning process and final installation of the 1 Lawndale Peace-Making Summit.

Upon documenting the Peace-making Summit, I had the pleasure of getting to know and learn more about Jaeda and the work that she does with the Growss Youth Council. The GROWSS Youth Council is a collaboration between Stone Temple Baptist Church, UCAN, Homan Grown, Urban Growers Collective, North Lawndale Pop-Up Spot, North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, and Lincoln Park Zoo (LPZ). The goal of this collaboration is to create confident leaders to build relationships with each other, their neighbors and nature in order to create a healthier, more vibrant community.

Recently, I was asked to join the Lincoln Park Zoo team as a Photography Teaching Instructor and Co-Facilitator to teach young people ages,14–19 the essentials of how to photograph nature and horticulture through context and storytelling.

We are currently in the process of hiring youth who are interested in becoming leaders in the areas of agriculture, horticulture and nature who have a passion to make a difference when it comes to transforming their neighborhood and environment. The Growss Youth Council Nature and Horticulture Project begins July 5th — August 11th. We will be accepting 14 applicants to be involved in this project. Applicants will earn up to $1,140 through their participation.

If you know any young people who you think would be interested, their is still time, please have them apply. Our final project will consist of creating a photo nature book that will be showcased and displayed at the NLCCC Arts & Culture Festival this Fall. Stay in tune with us as we will be posting more information about the progress of our project.

By: Jay Simon

Piet Oudolf at work on the Sears Sunken Garden plant layout  The Friends of Sears Sunken Garden now have a brand new website. Make sure to c...