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NHS of Chicago Organizes a Beautification Project in the West Englewood Community

Despite high temperatures, 90 volunteers worked hard to plant flowers, small shrubs, and vegetables in front of 42 homes in the West Englewood neighborhood in celebration of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago’s 24th Annual NeighborWorks® Day on Saturday, June 4. Volunteers also worked to improve the overall appearance of the area by cleaning vacant lots and planting community gardens.

The annual event caught the attention of several residents including McKinley Davis, who rode his bike to the event to see all of activities firsthand. “This is a wonderful event and we’re happy that so many volunteers and residents want to participate, especially on such a hot day. It’s a great cause.” Davis said.

Supported by Loews’ donation of 100 trays of plants, 10 trays of tomatoes, strawberries, cilantro, and bell peppers for the garden project, volunteers were able to plant vegetable gardens for West Englewood residents. To make the event resonate with younger residents, children were invited to build their own community garden. The group of 13 youths who participated planted vegetables also donated by Loews.

NHS organized this project not only to bring awareness of its services to the West Englewood community but to also to inspire residents and give more hope to the neighborhood. NHS Executive Director Ed Jacob commended NHS’ partners, staff, volunteers and residents for all their hard work.  “There is a great spirit and fun to the day as neighbors connect with each other and houses and blocks are beautified,” he said.

The event positively impacted the West Englewood community and its effects will be felt for years to come. Kenneth Guise, a City of Chicago Green Corps volunteer, said the garden project was “extremely gratifying.” He continued, “Long after we leave for the day, these flowers will keep bringing beauty to Englewood.”

This year, 600 volunteers worked simultaneously in seven Chicago neighborhoods and in Elgin.  NHS appreciates the support of Aldermen L. Thomas and its partner organizations, including lead sponsoring agency State Farm Insurance Companies.  Other NeighborWorks® Day sponsors and community partners included Marquette Bank, Team Work Englewood, Southwest Block Club Federation, RAGE, Peace Center, CAPS, The Travelers Foundation, Valspar Corporation, The Home Depot Foundation, First Bank of Highland Park, U.S. Bank, and the City of Chicago.

The NHS Auburn Gresham/Englewood office, 449 W. 79th St., has free homebuyer education classes, offers fixed-rate lending services, including loans for construction rehab, and other resources to help Chicagoans Buy, Fix and Keep their Homes.  For more information, call 773-488-2004, or visit

Keywords: flowers, Loews, NHS of Chicago, small shrubs, vegetables, West Englewood

Posted in Neighborhood News

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