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June 28, 2022

Green Team Summer News

Written by: Julia Smolucha


By Katie Nahrwold and King Poor, Green Team Co-Chairs
The Kenilworth Union Church Green team is excited to share updates of our recent environmental efforts.

Gardening with A Just Harvest

Last summer we established a new partnership with our long-term benevolence agency A Just Harvest in the Howard Street neighborhood of Rogers Park. While many Kenilworth Union members are familiar with AJH’s community kitchen, they also have a strong and flourishing urban agriculture program. The program not only grows food for the community and community kitchen but makes fresh produce affordable and accessible to the neighborhood, provides beautiful spaces for the community to enjoy, demonstrates food production to the community, increases awareness and interest in food production, teaches others how to grow food, and much more. Click her to learn more about the Genesis Project and click here to see the gardens.

Church volunteers work with the A Just Harvest team maintaining their green spaces and Hoophouse through weeding, watering, planting, mulching, and more. As a result of our efforts last summer we were able to transform a neglected parking lot into a new space that now serves as a neighborhood farm stand and picnic area. The Green Team also conducted a garden tool drive to provide needed tools for AJH. We encourage volunteers to join us in this rewarding work. Please contact Katie Nahrwold to volunteer.

Thank You Bob Dold and Rose Pest Solutions

We also want to recognize and thank Bob Dold and Rose Pest Solutions for their service to A Just Harvest as they tackled a pest problem in their greenhouse. We are grateful for Bob and Rose’s support which will save plants from pests and the urban agriculture team from lost resources and time.

New Native Plant Garden at Kenilworth Union Church

Pollinator insects, such as butterflies, bees, and moths, are critical to maintaining a varied and healthy food supply. The produce aisle of our local grocery store would look a lot different without them. But in recent years, pollinators have been under stress and in retreat because of the destruction of their habitat from a variety of activities such as the overuse of pesticides and leaf blowers.

Thankfully there has also been a growing awareness of the vital need to preserve and protect pollinators. That awareness includes the planting of native plants which they need to propagate and survive. One familiar example is the planting of milkweed that is essential to Monarch Butterflies.

This past spring the Green Team worked with the church’s landscaper, Rosborough Partners to design a native plant garden at the east end of the Robinson Garden. This new garden will include milkweed, blue indigo, sea oats, and coneflowers—all which pollinators will welcome. The garden should be ready in the next few weeks when we look forward to inviting church members to a tour of the garden.