Several of the people and organizations involved in the Hale Community Garden gathered for a photo last week when 13th Ward staff dropped off new black dirt for the project. They are (from left) Moe Zahdan, 13th Ward supervior; Anita Cummings, executive director of the United Business Association of Midway; Samantha Kyme, Hale dean of students leading the environment/culture program; Hector Villalobos and his children, Liliana  and Leonardo Villalobos of Clearing. --Supplied photo

Several of the people and organizations involved in the Hale Community Garden gathered for a photo last week when 13th Ward staff dropped off new black dirt for the project. They are (from left) Moe Zahdan, 13th Ward supervior; Anita Cummings, executive director of the United Business Association of Midway; Samantha Kyme, Hale dean of students leading the environment/culture program; Hector Villalobos and his children, Liliana  and Leonardo Villalobos of Clearing. --Supplied photo

Biz leaders help school’s garden grow

Spread the love

By Dermot Connolly

The United Business Association of Midway has partnered with Hale School to expand the community garden outside the school at 6140 S. Melvina.

GSWNH UBAMGarden01 062422

Hector Villalobos, a Hale parent and local Boy Scout troop leader, digs into one of the plant boxes he built for the newly expanded Hale School Community Garden that he tends with students and members of the United Business Association of Midway at the school. – Supplied photo

“I have always believed that a strong partnership is what gets anything accomplished,” said Anita Cummings, UBAM executive director. “This is a cornerstone of our organization. We work with business and political leaders and residents to benefit the entire Midway Airport area.”

She said the organization got involved in the Hale garden after efforts by members of the non-profit Garfield Ridge-Clearing Community Garden to obtain a space for their own community garden fell through last year. Members of the group, including Vanessa Sepcot, have lent their support and knowledge of gardening to the project. Sepcot also provided the mulch for the garden this year. Luis Gaytan, public health ambassador of Envision Community Services, another UBAM member, is involved too.

“Luis Gaytan with Envision provided a lot of volunteers,” Cummings noted.

On June 15, 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn had Streets and Sanitation Ward Superintendent Moe Zahdan deliver four square yards of black dirt donated by the ward for the expanded community garden.

Microsoft Corp. has also promised a grant that will allow Hale Community Garden to expand further of the next year, and add peach trees, strawberries, grapevines and other items to it.

“We already have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, peppers and some herbs growing there,” said Hector Villalobos, a Hale parent and Local School Council member who has been spearheading the community garden since last year.

“It actually started two years ago, but some things went wrong originally. It really took off last year,” he said.

Since then, the Clearing resident has taken the lead in tending to the garden, much as he does the garden at his own house two blocks away, and his father’s as well.

Villalobos said Hale kindergarteners got involved this year, and planted sunflowers, which they plan to do annually.

On weekends, he said, members of Boy Scout Troop 1439, which he leads, also volunteer their time to water and care for the plants. The Boy Scout troop is sponsored by Two Holy Martyrs Parish.

“Community residents are welcome to come by and pick the vegetables we grow and take them home. That is what it is there for. We just ask that they pick a weed or two also,” said Villalobos. His children, Liliana, a sixth-grader at Hale, and Leonardo, a graduate and freshman at Hancock High School, helped unload the dirt last week and regularly help out in other ways.

“Hector (Villalobos) was the brainchild behind this, and the Garfield Ridge-Clearing Community Garden and Envision Community Services were instrumental in moving it forward,” said Cummings. “Vanessa’s knowledge and hands-on assistance were very helpful.”

GSWNH UBAMHaleGarden02 062422

Several of the people and organizations involved in the Hale Community Garden gathered for a photo last week when 13th Ward staff dropped off new black dirt for the project. They are (from left) Moe Zahdan, 13th Ward supervior; Anita Cummings, executive director of the United Business Association of Midway; Samantha Kyme, Hale dean of students leading the environment/culture program; Hector Villalobos and his children, Liliana  and Leonardo Villalobos of Clearing. –Supplied photo

She said that Samantha Kyme, dean of students at Hale and leader of the culture and climate program there, serves as point person for the community garden project.

“I am not directly involved. But the important thing is, the garden really is for the community,” said Hale Principal Dawn Iles-Gomez.

“My office looks out on to the front of the school, where the garden is, facing Melvina,” said the principal. “It was great to look out and see the parents out there, tending to and picking the vegetables.”

“We’re here for summer school. But they took care of the garden when we are on vacation, which we appreciate,” said Iles-Gomez. “Hector literally built the wooden garden boxes,” she added. “He even comes here on Sundays.”

The principal said she was happy to learn that Microsoft is going to award the grant the school applied for as well. “It is all due to a combination of our staff, students and the community.”

Iles-Gomez said she knows the principal of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, at 3857 W. 111th St., and is honored to be compared with the more in-depth type of produce-growing that goes on there.

“We’re in the baby phases of that. We are just beginning,” she said.

Local News

Evergreen Park senior Nolan Sexton drives past a Thornton defender during the Wildcats' 77-47 win over the Mustangs in the Class 3A Thornton Sectional on Feb. 27. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball Class 3A Sectionals | Evergreen Park’s historic ends with loss to Thornton

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The 2023-2024 Evergreen Park boys basketball team had one of the greatest seasons in program history. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, that season has come to an end with a 77-47 loss to Thornton in the semifinals of the Class 3A Thornton Sectional on Feb. 27. Evergreen Park was coming…

Mary Stanek

Looks like March may go out like a lion

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796. . March comes in like a lamb – it goes out like a lion! A sneak peek at the weather forecast for the next 10 days does show some mild days. So, we welcome…

Kathy Headley

Weather cooperated for Marine’s return

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . After the surprising snow coming down like a blizzard for a while last Friday night, I was especially glad to see the sun Saturday morning, for Patrick Downs (St. Rita High School class of…

Peggy Zabicki

Slam the brakes on reckless drivers

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . The most popular topic of conversation in our neighborhood lately is the problem of speeding drivers. There are car accidents every single day due to drivers who break the law. I hope the city will add even more…

sports basketball image 12-13

Boys Hoops Wrap | Curie, Rice and Marist among area regional champs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The original March Madness got underway last week across Illinois, and several area teams were crowned regional champions. Teams still alive in Class 4A are Marist and Curie, and in Class 3A are Brother Rice, De La Salle, Evergreen Park and Mount Carmel.   CLASS 4A Marist (29-4) cruised…

SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview could be the site for Northwestern football games in 2024. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Football | Northwestern football may play at SeatGeek

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent It appears that Chicago’s Big Ten team will be Bridgeview’s Big Ten team for at least one day. Maybe more. Northwestern has released its 2024 football schedule, but where the Wildcats will play their seven home games is unknown. Their home stadium, Ryan Field in Evanston, is undergoing a…

Nazareth senior Amalia Dray fight through a Kenwood defender during the Roadrunners’ 50-37 win in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional title game. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Nazareth tops Homewood-Flossmoor, heads to Illinois Final Four for fifth time in past six seasons

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Nazareth head coach Ed Stritzel has built his Roadrunners into a powerhouse program with a defense-first philosophy that is carrying the reigning Class 3A state champions through another deep postseason run. Four nights after Nazareth held Kenwood to a season-low 37 points in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional…

Mount Carmel's wrestling team celebrates a Class 3A championship. Photo courtesy of Mount Carmel High School

Postseason Roundup | Mount Carmel wrestling wins fifth state title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent During the regular season, only one wrestling team from Illinois beat Mount Carmel in a dual meet. Joliet Catholic got the better of the Caravan with a 38-27 victory on Jan. 18. That came two days after Mount Carmel lost to Crown Point (Indiana). The Caravan will be unable…

St. Laurence's Kathleen Martin gets off a shot against Hinsdale South in the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22 in Chicago. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | St. Laurence girls hoops has benchmark season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The St. Laurence girls basketball team’s historic season came to a close with a 42-29 loss to Hinsdale South at the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22, but the Vikings hit some milestone’s in former Marist and Saint Xavier star Claire Austin’s first year as coach. The…

CRRNH_CheesiesLogo_022824

Cheesie’s coming to Garfield Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the love. Popular ‘pub & grub’ coming to Archer/Nashville .  By Tim Hadac A business strip in need of a shot of adrenaline is about get a bit of zing next month. Cheesie’s Pub & Grub, a well known favorite on the North Side, is bringing its casual dining fun to the vacant Lindy’s/Gertie’s…

Neighbors

Native tribe seeks return of ancestral land in Dekalb County

Native tribe seeks return of ancestral land in Dekalb County

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois currently has no federally recognized tribal land within its borders, but that could change in the coming months. A bill pending in the General Assembly this year would give back roughly 1,500 acres of park land in DeKalb County to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.…

His conviction was overturned after 35 years wrongfully served. State law caps his compensation at 14 years.

His conviction was overturned after 35 years wrongfully served. State law caps his compensation at 14 years.

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com In December, 57-year-old Brian Beals spent Christmas with his sister Pattilyn for the first time 35 years. Beals was exonerated and freed from Robinson Correctional Center in southeastern Illinois on Dec. 13 after a Cook County circuit court judge vacated his conviction and dismissed charges against him. “In…

Cook County judge orders Trump removed from GOP ballot but holds decision pending appeal

Cook County judge orders Trump removed from GOP ballot but holds decision pending appeal

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A Cook County judge on Wednesday ordered former President Donald Trump’s name to be removed from the March 19 Republican primary ballot but stayed her order until Friday to give time for an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. In a lengthy decision, Judge Tracie Porter…

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker will give his sixth state budget address this week, laying out his plan for a fiscal year that government forecasters in November predicted is on pace for a near-$900 million deficit unless corrective action is taken.  Those same fiscal forecasters in the Governor’s Office of…

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

BY JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Republicans in the Illinois Senate indicated Tuesday that their sticking point for budget negotiations this year will be the same as it was last year – state spending on programs for noncitizens and recent arrivals from the country’s southern border.  In what’s been a rarity over the past…

‘This place is horrific’: 10-week-old complaint details ‘filthy’ conditions at Centralia funeral home

‘This place is horrific’: 10-week-old complaint details ‘filthy’ conditions at Centralia funeral home

By BETH HUNDSDORFER  Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com The pictures that are said to depict the condition of the embalming room of the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia are shocking. Eight photographs and one video taken late last year purported to show the conditions of the funeral home depict piles of dirty sheets, a dead…

Capitol Briefs: Pritzker touts manufacturing training funding, announces cultural districts

Capitol Briefs: Pritzker touts manufacturing training funding, announces cultural districts

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS news@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker was in Normal Tuesday to call attention to recent state funding for manufacturing training academies – including at Heartland Community College.  The governor and college officials celebrated the new 45,000-square-foot facility that opened in January. It includes remodeled space to support programs such as robotics, HVAC, welding…

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com State and community leaders on Monday celebrated the planned opening of a new freestanding birth center on Chicago’s South Side while emphasizing proposed maternal health spending increases in Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget. The nonprofit Chicago South Side Birth Center will mark the city’s second active midwife-led birth center,…

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com State and community leaders on Monday celebrated the planned opening of a new freestanding birth center on Chicago’s South Side while emphasizing proposed maternal health spending increases in Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget. The nonprofit Chicago South Side Birth Center will mark the city’s second active midwife-led birth center,…

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com State and community leaders on Monday celebrated the planned opening of a new freestanding birth center on Chicago’s South Side while emphasizing proposed maternal health spending increases in Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget. The nonprofit Chicago South Side Birth Center will mark the city’s second active midwife-led birth center,…