The Heritage Garden curriculum is developed and taught by CCUSC directors. It builds on research conducted by current LCC director Rosa Cabrera and former AACC director Lori Baptista when they worked at the Field Museum. This research identified a number of key community concerns and strategies for community involvement in climate action, including gardening and urban agriculture. The Heritage Garden project frame work uses an assets-based approach that recognizes the range of green practices that people are already doing, builds on cultural values and identity, and links community concerns with environmental issues. 

The Interns engage in many hands-on, educational activities that help to develop and maintain the garden and sustain their relationships with community partners. Interns oversee the planting and maintenance of eight satellite gardens on the east side of campus. Interns also lead tours and host two annual public events that support intercultural engagement to broaden efforts around cultural and environmental sustainability. Interns research the cultural significance of plants in the garden, gather recipes, and collect stories from family, friends, and neighbors about their environmental friendly practices. Interns participate in weekly discussions about readings related to environmental and cultural sustainability, visit community resources relevant to this project, and work with local artists to make creative and explicit connections between environmental sustainability, cultural diversity and social justice. 

Heritage garden in the UIC news!