Neighbors and friends will gather to celebrate the grand opening of Vernon Park Gardens located in the lot next to 6033 S. Vernon, which is owned by Pangea Properties, a private Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The vacated land was donated to Chicago Eco House and converted to a flower farm and park for the community. The space is managed by a council of neighbors who all live within one block of the garden.
“This garden is much like our community: growing, glowing, resourceful, and resilient. One will complement the other, giving us reason to be proud of the place we’ve chosen to call home,” said Jean Clark, President of the West Woodlawn Coalition.
The Eco House flower farm is unique because it is the only commercial scale off grid system in Chicago. A rainwater catchment system is used to irrigate flowers with solar panels powering the pump. With the help of Pangea, Eco House is able to collect the water off of the rooftop at 6033 S. Vernon. This makes the Eco House farm environmentally sustainable. In addition, the garden provides neighbors the opportunity to receive a dividend share out of the net profits from any sales from the flower farm. The downspout system will help save thousands of gallons of water and will be used in an innovative solar powered irrigation system.
“We are excited to have partnered with local residents, Pangea Properties, University of Chicago, Engineers Without Borders, and the SECC to make this project a reality,” said Quilen Blackwell, President and Founder of Chicago Eco House. “We believe that Vernon Park Gardens will help create economic opportunities for youth in West Woodlawn as well as a safe community space for people to garden and hold community events.”
In preparation of the grand opening, neighbors and volunteers have dedicated time to beautifying the garden. Last month, volunteers from Pangea helped with minor construction of a community stage, gardening and landscaping. Pangea will also be sponsoring the Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
“We really support what Chicago Eco House is doing for the community and it was an honor to assist with the beautification of Vernon Park Gardens,” said Chanelle Cromwell, Programs Director for Pangea Cares, a 501c3 nonprofit organization within Pangea Properties. “Our rain water contribution will be vital to maintaining the garden and we look forward to seeing it blossom for years to come.”
Follow Vernon Park Gardens on Facebook at fb.me/vernonparkgardens and on Instagram @vernon_park_gardens.
About Chicago Eco House:
The Chicago Eco House provides programming for at risk youth in elementary and middle school in both our flower farm and 3D printing social enterprise programs located in Englewood, Woodlawn, and West Garfield Park. The flower farm social enterprise trains at risk youth to build and maintain the farm’s infrastructure that includes rainwater catchment systems and solar power generation to minimize our ecological footprint while leasing our farms to professional urban flower farmers on a shared revenue agreement, of which the youth share in the dividends. Furthermore, this program repurposes vacant land into beautiful flower spaces that contribute to the community’s economic development. The 3D printing youth social enterprise trains at risk youth in additive manufacturing skills such as 3D modeling/design, 3D printing operation, and post-production. Youth create jewelry that is sold at local events and shops and share in the net profit. This program exposes youth to cutting edge 21st Century technology in an applied entrepreneurship model. For more information, visit https://www.chicagoecohouse.org.
About Pangea Properties:
Pangea Properties is a private real estate investment trust (REIT) targeting the distressed residential multi-family real estate market. Pangea was founded in 2008 with the mission to bring service, value and care to its residents. The unique REIT serves as both the property owner and the building manager, utilizing a call center to support the high bar for service and scalability. Today, Pangea has invested over $415 million into 13,000+ apartment units throughout Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore, with the goal of continuing to expand within current markets as well as into new markets. Pangea has been highlighted by several media outlets including The Steve Harvey Show, Forbes, CNBC, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily and Chicago Grid. Pangea has made the annual Inc. 500|5000 list in 2013 through 2016, ranking first overall for the Chicago market and second for the entire real estate industry in 2013. Pangea has won numerous awards including the Good Neighbor Award and has been named a Crain’s Chicago Business Top Job’s Creator as well as a Chicago Tribune Top Workplace. For more information, visit Pangea online at www.pangeare.com, www.facebook.com/PangeaRE, www.linkedin.com/company/pangea-properties or on Twitter @PangeaRE.
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