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Our Story, Our History
Chicago Gateway Green is a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to the greening and beautification of Chicago’s expressways, gateways and neighborhoods through landscape enhancement, litter and graffiti removal and the installation of public art.
WGN’s 30 years of gateway green
Chicago Gateway Green® is rooted in the spirit of civic pride and leadership first established in 1986 by our visionary founder, the late Donald J. DePorter.
Chicago Gateway Green® was founded on the belief that beauty and sustainability go hand-in-hand, and continues to lead the charge in greening and beautifying the great city of Chicago together with our partners.
Chicago Gateway Green® developed the Expressway Partnership program, joining the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and Chicago’s corporate community to transform the city’s expressways into beautifully-landscaped parkways. Distinct from traditional ‘adopt-a-highway’ programs, Chicago Gateway Green® develops and maintains sweeping landscapes which feature our sponsors, creating green ribbons of sustainable landscapes weaving throughout the city.
The Green Tie Ball®, Chicago Gateway Green®’s signature fundraising gala made its first appearance in 1992. What began as a 500-person party held in the street is now one of the most well-known and exclusive charity fundraising events in Chicago, attended annually by more than 3,000 of the city’s most influential professionals. Each year, the event is marked by scores of Chicago’s top restaurants, multiple stages of eclectic entertainment; and a unique indoor-outdoor venue to celebrate the green spaces of the city.
As Chicago Gateway Green® evolves, the fundamentals are the same. Our corporate founders led by example and proved that business leaders do care about the communities they live and work in. Then and now we rely on that commitment and spirit of service to support the work of creating a beautiful and green Chicago that can be sustained well into the future.
Chicago Gateway Green® is grateful to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the City of Chicago who provide immeasurable support for the Expressway Partnership and are critical to its success.