Omar Shamsi Garden Program

Omar Shamsi Garden Program

Plant Education
Changing Lives
Promoting Food Security
Organic Gardening


Special thanks to as our point of contact
for our Walnut and Carroll locations.

The 2022 Season Updates:

March 17, 2022

There are community garden directors assigned for each of the Cook County Locations.  I would like to thank our local Alderman, The Donors for each of the three locations, The State of Illinois and Cook County for the use of adjacent lots in the city limits (for gardening and our maintenance), other community gardens, local businesses, and of course our community garden directors.

I myself have decided to step back from my personal involvement and day to day operations.  I am available in an advisory role.  I’m moving to work on other aspirations at this time.

Thank you all again and I wish you the best in your future endeavors with the gardens.  I hope you are able to continue in the mission towards

Plant Education
Changing Lives
Promoting Food Security
Organic Gardening

Note for community garden directors:
Recommendations for Constitution, Minutes, and Waivers to be completed by:  March 31st, 2022
For the 2022 season.  All locations do not allow for the use of raised beds at this time.  Also meet all the urban garden rules for 2022 at any location and keep in touch with the property owners, municipality, alderman, state if required, or county if required.

February 7, 2022

There is still snow on the ground but we are looking for dedicated gardeners and volunteers for the locations in Cook County.  If you are interested in gardening for the 2022 season please contact a community garden director.

The upcoming garden season is right around the corner!  Wishing you a wonderful time experiencing the outdoors and gardening fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

The 2021 Season Updates:

September 5, 2021

Gardening can be exciting and personally rewarding.  Enjoy gardening and enjoy the gardens.  Be sure to share garden plants with friends, neighbors, and at events.  Smile at a friend, bring flowers to someone in the hospital, and feed someone in need.

August 10, 2021

I want to thank the non-profits who are dedicated to community gardening, the community gardeners, the donors of the spaces for these gardens, donors of their time, financial supporters, neighbors, my mentors, and the youth who are interested in carrying the torch towards organic gardening.  Thank you, you deserve the joy of gardening and recognition for your hard work!

July 16, 2021

The Walnut and Carroll locations have received their 501-(c3) nonprofit status through their garden director earlier this season.
Congratulations again!

July 16, 2021

We are continuing to work on the Caldwell and Harvard Locations this season permitting.  Contact for further information.

May 8, 2021

This year requires closed toe shoes and signed waivers to participate in programs.  Each location may have specific rules.
Look towards the community garden director for your specific garden location for the 2021 season for the waiver, specific program instructions, and if there is non-profit status for the garden location.

If you are looking to come to a location this weekend please reach out to the community garden director for your garden location.

Social distancing and mask rules still apply.

Gardens may have scheduling and capacity limitations for social distancing.

April 26, 2021

One of our community gardeners with Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ) has requested perennial plants for a school landscape project.

Please enjoy our donation of Sedum, Walking Onions, Mint, Daylily, and any other plants you may need.

Yesterday there was a  tomato, pepper, and kale seedling transplanting session was pretty fun!

April 3, 2021

The garden directors are using their respective spaces for the 2021 season.
If you would like to involve yourself in projects for the 2021 season Farmer’s Market, Concert, Garden Spaces, or Other Proposed Activities please reach out to the garden director for your space.

Green Walking Onions should be sprouting and growing from last year now.

Be sure to start your tomato, eggplant, and pepper seedlings now!
It is also a great time to plant lettuce outdoors!

Closed toe shoes and activity waivers are required this season.

January 9, 2021

Congratulating the new garden directors on their respective spaces for the 2021 season and management responsibilities.

The 2020 Season Updates:

October 22, 2020

The 2020 season has closed.
Vegetable Gardens were maintained and installed.
We are grateful for the season, memories, flowers, and healthy organic produce.

Thank you for the 2020 season.
We are looking forward to the 2021 season.
2021 will come with some more organization, meetings, and book-keeping.

August 27, 2020

Due to the Covid – 19 Pandemic Each parcel has one designated
Community Garden Director.

The Carroll location was maintained and used for social distancing by the community.  A garden was installed and work was done on the property.  Mowing, maintaining trees, leveling soil, planting perennials, picking up trash and harvesting mulberries were the tasks for the 2020 season.  We plan on having a Sunday market.

This Walnut lot was maintained, wild purslane and mulberries were harvested.  This space is an outdoor container nursery and row garden space.

The Caldwell Location was cleared and a variety of annuals, perennials, and vegetables were planted.  This garden is used primarily as an organic gardening education space promoting food security.

August 27, 2020

The Walnut lot and Carroll lots are being transferred to the local Community Garden Director Mike B.

We proudly thank Mike B. for taking responsibility for moving these two lots forward as Urban Garden Spaces.

August 27, 2020

We would like to recognize Castle a construction firm for the use of the Carroll and Walnut locations in exchange for lot maintenance.

August 27, 2020

We would like to recognize the owner(s) of the Caldwell location for the permission of the space to create a garden with the public good in mind.