Broadview Community Garden

  • Broadview Community Garden

Model Communities Grantee

Broadview Park District

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Grantee Summary

The Broadview Park District is located in the western suburb of Broadview and has been servicing the communities of Broadview and Maywood (combined population: 31,713) for more than 40 years. They operate seven parks and three facilities. They have an outdoor pool, fitness center, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, and playgrounds.

Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Changes

The Park District has focused its efforts on improving the food environment in Broadview and Maywood by completing the following PSEs:

  • Installation and management of five community gardens in Broadview and Maywood to increase access to healthy foods for residents of these communities. Fifteen plots are designated as teaching plots for children participating in park district camps and the produce grown from these plots will be donated to the Farmer's Market;
  • Expansion of the Maywood farmers market from two to four times per month and creation of a plan for the Broadview farmers market in 2012 to increase access to locally produced food; and
  • Adoption of worksite wellness policies for the Broadview Park District staff that encourage healthy eating and active living.

Highlights and Successes

  • The Broadview Community Garden plots, which are operated by individual families, were rented almost immediately and many residents are on a waiting list for next year.
  • The gardeners frequently talk about the sense of community they have built around the garden installation and production, which was completed in June and July 2011.
  • The children participating in the park district camp learned how to plant and grow vegetables and were introduced to many new vegetables they had never had before.
  • The worksite wellness policy, which was adopted in November 2011, gives park district employees an hour at lunch to exercise. In addition, the vending machines, which serve both the staff and the children’s camp participants, have been restocked with healthier items that the camp participants taste-tested. Non-healthy items are priced higher than the other items due to the policy.

Sustainability of PSE changes

  • The park district would not have been able to create the garden without funding from the Model Communities program, due to the high start up costs. Provided that the startup costs were alleviated, the park district was able to budget a garden specialist to maintain the gardens with the camp participants for 2012.
  • The park district is considering starting a working group that would obtain non-profit (501(c)3) status in order to continue the work with the Farmer’s Markets.
  • The Mayor of Broadview has offered to donate space to the Broadview Park District for the 2012 farmer’s market and for garden expansion.

Contact Information

Broadview Park District
2600 S. 13th Ave., Broadview , IL 60155
Contact: Katrina Thompson - Executive Director
Phone: 708-343-5637
Email: kthompson@broadviewparkdistrict.org
Technical Assistance Partner: Delta Institute