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Chicago Urban Initiative

Chicago Urban Initiative

In Chicago, our Urban Initiative works with community partners to build healthy local food systems. We help our partners develop neighborhood projects that increase access to fresh, healthy food and improve quality of life. We offer hands-on learning at urban growing sites to increase local food production and connect urban families with the land.


Our Urban Initiative is based on a participatory planning and project development model. The process begins with our staff assisting community groups to develop their own ideas and plan for ways to engage food system change meaningfully and practically.


With our guidance, partners determine action steps and timelines, assess their strengths and resources, and prepare to launch a project. They can enlist our support in advising, training, or providing direct programming. We also help partners make connections to other resources that strengthen their projects.



Our primary focus is currently on the Eat to Live project in Englewood. 

Find out more about our past projects and partners in Chicago:



In addition to working with community partners, we offer educational opportunities to the public through our Urban Initiative. Learn about our chicken care workshops for the public in Chicago.


Visit the Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts Google site, moderated by Learning Center staff. 

To get involved with a current project, or to find out how your group can get help starting a project, contact our Chicago staff at

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Supported by a grant from Heifer International